Deep-water drilling is a test for Mexican oil company Pemex

January 13, 2014

energy -drilling_platform_in_seaThe Washington Post, 01/10/2014

More than 3,000 feet below the waves in the the Gulf of Mexico, with a drill bit wider than a human thigh, Mexico is digging for its future.

The gulf is one of the world’s great largely unexplored reservoirs of oil and gas, industry experts say, but the state-run oil monopoly Pemex so far has lacked the money and technical capacity to extract from its deeper waters. Now that the country has passed legislation opening up its beleaguered oil industry to outsiders for the first time in 75 years, the government is hoping that future partnerships with foreign companies to drill for hard-to-access undersea oil will mean billions of dollars of new revenue.

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Budget Deal Would Open New Areas Of The Gulf Of Mexico For Drilling

December 12, 2013

gulf-of-mexico-map1The Huffington Post, 12/11/2013

The bipartisan budget deal unveiled Tuesday night includes a provision that would open up new parts of the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling.

The proposal includes passage of the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement, which would allow development of oil and gas reserves that cross the international maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mexico. There has been a moratorium in place on drilling in the Western Gap portion of the Gulf since 2000, but it is set to expire at the end of 2013. The agreement included in the budget deal sets standards for both countries to undertake development in this area, and has already won approval from both the Obama administration and Mexico.

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Budget Deal Breaks Logjam on U.S.-Mexico Drilling Pact

December 11, 2013

National Journal, 12/11/2013

energy -drilling_platform_in_seaThe new Capitol Hill budget plan clears the way for a U.S.-Mexico offshore drilling agreement to proceed, signaling the apparent end of a House-Senate impasse that has stalled implementation of the 2012 accord.

The agreement announced Tuesday evening between Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. has language tucked into it that approves the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement. The bilateral drilling accord is designed to enable cooperation and legal certainty in the development of oil-and-gas along a maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Politics press as Pemex eyes deep-water partnership

December 3, 2013

PemexMSNBC, 12/2/2013

In the U.S.-controlled area of the Gulf of Mexico, oil companies extract more than 300,000 barrels of crude per day from deep-water wells. In Mexico’s area: zero.

That statistic is just one of several pushing the Mexican government to embark on an ambitious (not to mention politically treacherous) change to its constitution, which would allow foreign investment in Mexico’s oil industry for the first time in 75 years.

“We have to evolve,” said Carlos Morales, head of the exploration and production for Pemex, short for Petroleos Mexicanos, the country’s government-controlled oil monopoly.

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Oil industry backs US-Mexico drilling bill without Dodd-Frank waiver

October 22, 2013

energy -drilling_platform_in_seaThe Hill, 10/21/2013

An influential oil industry group is no longer pressing the House to include waivers from part of the Dodd-Frank law in legislation to implement a 2012 U.S.-Mexico offshore drilling accord.

The American Petroleum Institute’s stance could help win enactment of the Senate version of the bill to implement the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement, which recently passed without opposition and does not provide a Dodd-Frank exemption.

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In sign of energy dilemma, Mexico runs low on natural gas

September 19, 2013

gas pipeline and gaugeThe Miami Herald, 9/18/2013

Prices for natural gas over the border in Texas are at historic lows, so what happened earlier this month at the Gulf of Mexico port of Altamira, Mexico, might seem to defy market logic.Huge tankers arrived from distant Yemen and Nigeria to offload liquefied natural gas at a price four times the market rate for natural gas in the United States.

At Mexico’s two other liquefied natural gas terminals, on the Pacific coast, the same phenomenon occurs, with expensive liquefied gas arriving from Peru, Indonesia and even Africa. It’s a sign of Mexico’s enormous energy crisis, even as oil remains the mainstay of the country’s economy. Mexico has huge natural-gas reserves, yet those reserves are largely untapped, and the nation is a net importer of the fuel.Abundant supplies of natural gas at low prices lie just across the border, but U.S.-Mexico pipelines are already handling all they can.

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Mexico checks for oil link to death of 250 rays

July 19, 2013

energy -drilling_platform_in_seaBusinessweek, 7/18/2013

Mexican authorities investigating the deaths of at least 250 rays found on a beach say they are studying whether work being done by the country’s national oil company in the Gulf of Mexico might have been involved.

Veracruz state fishing director Tomas Rubio says his office will try to determine if the rays were poisoned or otherwise affected by Petroleos Mexicanos. Rubio said Wednesday that there is no evidence so far Pemex caused the deaths.

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Mexico Highway Leapfrogs Drug Lands to Link 2 Seas

July 1, 2013

bridge with trafficAP, 6/30/2013

The Durango-Mazatlan Highway is one of Mexico’s greatest engineering feats, 115 bridges and 61 tunnels designed to bring people, cargo and legitimate commerce safely through a mountain range known until now for marijuana, opium poppies and an accident-prone road called the Devil’s Backbone.

Even those protesting the project say the 230-kilometer-long (140-mile) highway, expected to be completed in August, will change northern Mexico dramatically for the good. It will link port cities on the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific by a mere 12-hour drive, and Mazatlan with San Antonio, Texas, in about the same time. The highway will eventually move 5 million vehicles a year, more than four times the number on the old road, plus more produce and goods from Asia to the Mexican interior and southern U.S.

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U.S.-Mexico deal on expanded Gulf oil drilling still in limbo

April 30, 2013

energy -drilling_platform_in_seaReuters, 4/29/13

More than a year after the United States and Mexico signed a much-lauded deal that would remove obstacles to expanding deepwater drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, the agreement still has not been finalized by the United States. The delay, for which people close to the administration blame Congress while Republicans in Congress blame the administration, is certain to be discussed when President Barack Obama visits Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico City on Thursday.

Mexico immediately ratified the pact in April 2012, but the United States has so far been unable to pass a simply worded, one-page law to put the agreement into force. The deal, formally known as the Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement, provides legal guidelines for deepwater drilling in the 1.5 million acres of the Gulf that straddle the U.S.-Mexico boundary.

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Mexico sues BP over Gulf disaster as oil giant faces 2,200 new lawsuits in less than two months

April 30, 2013

energy - oil_rigThe Telegraph, 4/30/13

The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20, 2010, killed 11 men and unleashed the worst offshore oil spill in US history. In first-quarter results on Tuesday, BP said that since March 6 it had been named as a defendant “in more than 2,200 additional civil lawsuits brought by individuals, corporations and government entities” and warned that “further actions are likely to be brought”.

It said the plaintiffs in these cases included “a foreign government”, understood to be Mexico, which had threatened to sue BP soon after the 2010 accident. BP said it believed the onslaught of new lawsuits had been submitted ahead of the third anniversary of the disaster, after which the company could have tried to use a statute of limitations to dismiss their claims.

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