Mexico has successfully auctioned ten out of 15 shallow water oil and gas blocks, opening up its energy market further.

The Italian oil and gas giant Eni, Colombia's Ecopetrol and Capricorn Energy, a unit of Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy, were among the top bidders for 15 blocks in the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Eni bagged one block all on its own and two others through consortiums it formed with other firms, reported Reuters.

One of the consortiums was formed with Capricorn and Citla Energy. The other was in partnership with the Mexican oil company Citla Energy.

Teaming up with Capricorn, Citla bagged another block after prevailing over Eni in a closely contested bid.

Mexican state-owned petroleum company Pemex was awarded two blocks, both in consortiums. While one consortium was with Deutsche Erdoel from Germany, the other one was with Colombian firm Ecopetrol.

Alongside Malaysian oil giant Petronas’ subsidiary PC Carigali, Ecopetrol was awarded with another block as well.

Spanish energy firm Repsol successfully bid alongside Sierra Perote to win a block in the Gulf of Mexico’s southern region.

According to Mexican Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, the auctioned 10 blocks could potentially have a combined output of 170,000 barrels per day of crude oil equivalent. Investments for the development of the blocks have been estimated to go up to $8.2bn as per the Minister.

The shallow water auction is the fifth one to be held following the Mexican energy reform. As per the Mexican government, 39 contracts were generated from the previously awarded blocks with investment over them forecast to be $48.8bn through their lifespan.

The Mexican oil regulator said that the France's Total and Royal Dutch Shell secured the 15th shallow water oil and gas block in the auction. Russia’s leading oil company Lukoil also helped itself with a block during the auction.