MEXICO CITY, Oct 4 (Reuters) - There were no bidders in an auction to partner with Mexican national oil company Pemex on its offshore Ayin-Batsil project, the industry regulator said on Wednesday, in a setback for the opening of the country's energy sector to private capital.
Industry analysts had seen Ayin-Batsil as the most attractive of the three areas on the block on Wednesday. The results of the other two blocks are due to be announced later.
The auction is only the second offering of a joint venture between Pemex and equity partners since a sweeping energy opening finalized in 2014 ended the company's decades-long monopoly and allowed it to jointly develop projects with private and foreign oil companies.
Ayin-Batsil is a 423 square mile (1,096 sq km) mostly heavy oil field in shallow waters along the southern edge of the Gulf of Mexico and believed to contain 359 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in proven, probable and possible reserves. (Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)