New Publication: Integrating North America’s Energy: A Call for Action

December 17, 2014

By Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

stock-footage-montage-of-clean-energy-fossil-fuel-pollutionIn February 2014, the leaders of the three North American nations met in Toluca, Mexico, and determined a range of measures to enhance regional competitiveness, including new initiatives on transportation infrastructure, borders and research cooperation. Furthermore, the leaders agreed that, before the end of 2014, a North American Energy Ministers Meeting should take place to “define areas for strong trialteral cooperation on energy.” What these areas might be is still unannounced, but with the successful passage of energy reform legislation through Mexico’s Congress in December 2013, and secondary legislation in August 2014, many of the previously existing barriers to cooperation on oil and gas markets have now disappeared.

The prospects for an energy abundant North America are compelling. Combined, the three countries’ oil production compares favorably with those of the Middle East. As the United States surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer, and with both Mexico and Canada on the verge of significant increases in production, North America’s long-standing position as a hydrocarbons importer will then be reversed. The outlook for North American energy is therefore bright, and the transformation in the regional energy paradigm has been dramatic. However, to achieve the full potential of this newly discovered regional energy wealth, it will be necessary to more fully integrate the three countries’ energy markets. This paper argues that, in order to make North American energy independence a reality, there are several main areas that require attention from the three governments, working together, to make the transition to an integrated North American energy system.

Read the report here.


Confronting Challenges to North America’s Energy Future

December 12, 2014

12/12/2014 Duncan Wood and Rachel Bronson via Forbes.com

stock-footage-montage-of-clean-energy-fossil-fuel-pollutionNorth America is fast becoming the epicenter of a transformation in global energy. Canada, Mexico and the United States are bringing to market huge new energy resources that were too expensive or politically risky to exploit until recently.  According to the Energy Information Administration, North American oil and gas growth is expected to exceed all of OPEC’s over the next decade.

But despite North America’s huge energy potential, the United States, Mexico, and Canada all face serious obstacles in getting their energy resources to market. Skills gaps and low public support for energy infrastructure stand in the way of a potentially rich North American energy future. As the three North American energy ministers prepare to meet in Washington on December 15th, they must develop innovative policy solutions to overcome these barriers and create the necessary support structure to fully realize North America’s emerging energy boom.

Read more…


Is North America’s Energy Boom a Global Game Changer?

December 8, 2014

11/26/14 Wilson Center REWIND

stock-footage-montage-of-clean-energy-fossil-fuel-pollutionIncreases in energy production in Canada and the U.S., combined with promising reforms in Mexico, are creating what some describe as a “North American energy renaissance.” The world’s energy equation is changing, with more developments on the way. What are the implications of traditional energy producers becoming consumers and consumers becoming producers? That’s the focus of this edition of REWIND.

Click here to watch the video.

To see video from the Wilson Center’s First Annual North American Energy Forum, click here.

Speakers:

David Biette, Director, Canada Institute, moderator
Charles K. Ebinger, Senior Fellow and Director, Energy Security Initiative, The Brookings Institution
David L. Goldwyn, President, Goldwyn Global Strategies LLC, former State Department Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, and Co-Editor, Energy & Security: Strategies for a World in Transition
Robert (“RJ”) Johnston, CEO and Director, Global Energy & Natural Resources, The Eurasia Group
Jan H. Kalicki, Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar and lead, Regional and Global Energy Issues; Co-editor, Energy & Security: Strategies for a World in Transition
Shirley Neff, Senior Adviser, US Energy Information Administration, former Senior Adviser, US Commission on the BP Oil Spill
Andrew Selee, Wilson Center Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute


Russia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela decide not to cut oil production

November 26, 2014

11/25/14 RT 

Oil barrelsDelegations from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Venezuela have met for the first time in such a format for talks in Vienna to discuss rapidly dropping oil prices. The group agreed to monitor prices for a year. The energy ministers have not agreed upon cutting oil production, as such agreements can only be reached during OPEC meetings, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez said following the talks held at the Park Hyatt in Vienna on Tuesday. He added that the group also believes the current oil prices are too low, and named a fair price at $100 per barrel.

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Mexico’s Energy Reforms: A Progress Report

November 25, 2014

November 25, 2014 Wilson Center Now 

stock-footage-montage-of-clean-energy-fossil-fuel-pollutionMexico is attempting to turn one of the world’s most closed energy programs into one of its most open. Is transformational change possible? And if success is achieved, what are the implications for Mexico, its neighbors, and the world? Duncan Wood is an expert on energy issues and also serves as Director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute. He provides insight and analysis during this edition of Wilson Center NOW.

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Main Mexico leftist party on verge of dissolution, leader says

November 17, 2014

11/16/14 Reuters

Cuahutemoc Cardenaz, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas SolórzanoThe elder statesman of Mexico’s main leftist party said on Sunday the group was on the verge of falling apart after a series of mistakes and the disappearance of 43 students in a state it runs in the southwest of the country.Three-times presidential candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas said the opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), which finished runner-up in Mexico’s last two presidential elections, had lost its moral authority and needed urgent reform.In an open letter published by his office, Cardenas, 80, said the PRD was “on the verge of dissolving, or ending up as a simple political-electoral franchise subordinate to interests alien to those of the broad base of its members.”Cardenas, the son of former president Lazaro Cardenas, a leftist icon who nationalized Mexico’s oil industry in 1938, called on the party leadership to step down to allow a process of reconstruction to begin.

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Saudis Reject Talk of OPEC Market Share War as Oil Slides

November 13, 2014

11/13/14 Bloomberg

Oil barrelsSaudi Arabia’s oil minister dismissed talk of a price war as having “no basis in reality” in his first public comments since crude plunged into a bear market last month. “Saudi oil policy has remained constant for the past few decades and it has not changed today,” Ali al-Naimi said at a conference in Acapulco, Mexico, yesterday. “We want stable oil markets and steady prices, because this is good for producers, consumers and investors.” Brent crude futures plunged below $80 yesterday for the first time since September 2010 on concern OPEC is in no hurry to halt a four-month slide in prices. Saudi discounts offered to Asian customers in October triggered speculation that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ largest member had changed policy and was seeking to preserve market share, instead of supporting prices by curbing supply. OPEC ministers will meet Nov. 27 in Vienna.

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