From the dudes over at Rigzone:
Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim (telecoms) has set his sights on Chicontepec, an oil project that state monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos is plowing money into despite the price crash.
Slim's Servicios Integrales GSM has attended project meetings and paid bidding fees for a 170-well contract, according to documents on Mexico's Compranet government procurement Web site.
Industry executives expect the unit of industrial conglomerate Grupo Carso SAB to be a main competitor when bids come in on April 7.
Slim, a telecoms magnate ranked by Forbes magazine as the world's third richest man, has sprawling industrial concerns that rake in profitable government contracts ranging from highways to water treatment plants. At Chicontepec, Pemex plans to invest $11 billion over the next four years, making it an attractive target for drillers struggling with a global industry down cycle.
The upcoming contract is designed to attract smaller companies looking for a foothold at Chicontepec and to give Pemex a more diverse pool of suppliers. The previous two contracts were each for 500 wells, three times as large.
Halliburton, Baker Hughes, and Nabors Industries Ltd., as well as China's Sinopec, are all looking to set up shop at Chicontepec.
Slim's engineering and construction companies have built offshore platforms and other infrastructure for Pemex. He was even briefly a member of Pemex's board in 2001 under an effort by then-president Vicente Fox to make the state oil monopoly more efficient. Slim and other businessmen named to the board were withdrawn, however, after the move caused an outburst of oil nationalism.