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


Will Scandals In Mexico Dampen Investment?

November 25, 2014

11/25/14 Forbes

bridge with trafficThe past few months have been a difficult time for Mexico. In a recent article for the World Politics Review I explained, “Autumn has been a difficult season for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Public furor has erupted into sustained and sometimes violent protests over the disappearance of 43 students in the rural southwestern state of Guerrero. Long one of Mexico’s poorest, most crime-ridden and isolated states, Guerrero had not been a priority for Pena Nieto’s administration, which has focused tirelessly on promoting the image of a modern and efficient Mexico to foreign investors.”  Although 2014 has marked a number of successful economic reforms and an uptick in economic growth, Mexico’s autumn has been sullied by scandals.

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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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Organised crime could undermine benefits of Mexico’s energy reform programme

November 12, 2014

11/12/14 Financial Times

energy - oil pumpsHow much of a risk are Mexican drug lords and the country’s volatile security situation for the landmark energy reform? The head of one company that has a services contract with Mexican state giant Pemex smiles ruefully. At its worst point – some three to four years ago – a full 40 per cent of the acreage the company is working on was a no-go area, and that was despite some of the processes being automated, says the executive, who asked not to be named. Things have improved somewhat, but it is all relative: the proportion of the area his company is working on that can only be visited with the army, in helicopters, has shrunk to 20 per cent. “Security will be a problem,” says the executive, highlighting the elephant in the room when it comes to the industry’s otherwise rapturous reception of Mexico’s energy reform.

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Mexico’s Alfa Plans Capital Increase to Finance Energy Projects

October 21, 2014

10/20/14 Wall Street Journal 

Energy -electricity_transmission_linesMexican conglomerate Alfa SAB said Monday it plans to issue new stock to raise capital as it seeks to take advantage of opportunities opened up for the private sector under Mexico’s new energy laws. Alfa, based in Monterrey, said in a news release that the proposal will be submitted to a shareholder vote on Nov. 4. “We intend to capitalize on opportunities created by Mexico’s energy reform and leverage our experience in shale gas, conventional exploration and production, and power generation and commercialization,” Alfa said.

Read More…


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