May 22, 2018 / 11:10 PM / in a month

Mexico's Vista Oil & Gas inks onshore joint venture with Jaguar

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican energy investment firm Vista Oil & Gas will tie up with Jaguar Exploracion y Produccion on three onshore projects, the company said on Tuesday, acquiring 50 percent stakes with an initial payment of nearly $27.5 million.

Vista will pay Monterrey-based Jaguar a further $10 million to compensate the firm for past investments in the projects, or so-called carry costs, the firm said in a statement.

The three onshore projects were won at auctions last July by Jaguar, an upstart oil firm owned by Mexico’s Grupo Topaz, and are located in the Gulf coast states of Tabasco and Veracruz.

Two of the blocks will be operated by Vista, while the other will be run by Jaguar, in what Vista described as Mexico’s first joint venture between two private oil firms.

The joint venture between the two must still be approved by the National Hydrocarbons Commission, the Mexican oil regulator that supervises exploration and production contracts.

Last year, Vista became Mexico’s first publicly traded oil firm, four years after a landmark energy reform ended the decades-long monopoly enjoyed by state-owned Pemex.

Vista, which has targeted assets for possible acquisition in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, is backed by private equity firm Riverstone Capital.

Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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