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I went to the documentation here:
And hg+file was not listed as a supported URL scheme. I ran pip install with that URL scheme anyway, and it worked fine. The documentation was missing it.
What I've run:
pip install --prefix="$PWD/venv" -e hg+file:///someplace/on/my/system/curio#egg=curio
From pip mercurial source code, I think that hg+file scheme is not supported, so the parser applied the "hg" schema solely.
Hope that helps