US-based Chevron and Spain-based energy company Repsol are planning to quit oil and gas exploration operations in blocks offshore Mexico, reported Reuters, citing the Mexican oil regulator.

The two companies secured the offshore exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico in a tender process, which was launched by the government of former President Enrique Pena Nieto.

According to Mexico’s hydrocarbon commission officials, Chevron was granted approval to return an undisclosed deepwater block off the coast of Tabasco, as it considers the area to hold “no favourable prospects”.

Confirming the latest decision, Chevron said it would maintain an office in Mexico. It will also continue to monitor the country’s industry developments.

Repsol too secured final approval to return an offshore block, also located in the same area. However, it continues to own a deepwater block for now.

Mexico had put up for auction more than 100 contracts to both foreign and local companies in an effort to break the long-standing monopoly of the state energy company, Pemex, reported the news agency.

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By GlobalData

Several companies including bp, Shell and TotalEnergies have either commenced or completed the process of returning blocks partly or completely to the Mexican state following disappointing results, as per the documents seen by Reuters. Some of the companies returned more than one block to the state.

In December 2022, Repsol received approval from Mexico’s oil regulatory body to exit from two oil and gas exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico.

The two offshore blocks were awarded to Repsol in 2018 in a tender process.