The Mexican government has launched a new bidding round for the exploration and production of 12 onshore oil and gas fields.

Mexico's oil regulator, National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), approved the contracts and auction terms for the bidding round, the second phase of the Round 2 tender

The oil blocks to be auctioned are located in the gas-rich Burgos basin, in the southern state of Chiapas, as well as the Southeast basin,

Of the total blocks, seven are for exploration and extraction while the remaining five are for exploration, reported Reuters.

According to the Energy Ministry, the blocks cover a combined area of 5,066 square kilometers and have potential reserves of 643 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Planned to be awarded in 2017, contracts for the blocks will have 30 to 40 years timeframe for exploration, development and production, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Last month, Mexico has launched a new bidding round for the exploration and production of 15 oil blocks in shallow waters of the southern Gulf of Mexico.

After opening up the oil and gas industry for private and foreign companies in 2013, Mexico has awarded several onshore and offshore blocks in three auctions.

Mexico is expected to launch another bidding round for 10 deepwater exploration blocks in December 2016. The blocks include six in the Salina basin of the Gulf of Mexico and four in the Mexican side of the Perdido belt.