Mexico must wait to reap rewards of urgent oil reform

December 13, 2013

Global Post, 12/13/2013

oil pipeline150Backers of Mexico’s energy reform say aging refineries, lack of deep-water drilling technology and dwindling oil production made the legislation an urgent necessity to save the state-run industry.

But analyst say it will likely take years for Mexico to reap the rewards of the reform, which aims to attract foreign investment with profit- and production-sharing contracts that would break the country’s 75-year-old national oil monopoly.

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Mexico could make North America the world leader in oil production

September 13, 2013

The Washington Times, 9/13/2013

Oil Rig 2 by Flickr user tsuda Photo by Flickr user tsudaMexico is poised to join the North American oil revolution as a new government is moving to significantly modify 75-year-old constitutional restrictions against foreign involvement in the oil sector, allowing U.S. firms to go in for the first time and help develop the country’s sizable untapped reserves.

Energy analysts are increasingly optimistic that Mexico will make changes it has resisted for decades to revive its foundering oil sector, which is a primary source of growth for the economy and revenue for the government but has been in rapid decline in recent years because of the depletion of Mexico’s conventional oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico. A liberalization of the legal restrictions barring foreign investment proposed by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto last month promises to boost Mexico’s economy and wealth and to help put North America on the map as a potential new “Persian Gulf” for oil.

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Pemex’s Crude-Oil Output Falls Below 2.5 Million Barrels a Day in July

August 30, 2013

The Wall Street Journal, 8/30/2013

gas pipeline and gaugeMexican state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said Wednesday that crude-oil production fell below 2.5 million barrels a day in July, but rising oil exports and higher oil prices allowed the company to post a bigger trade surplus in petroleum products compared to the year-earlier month.

Pemex said that crude-oil production last month averaged 2.482 million barrels a day, compared with the year-ago month of 2.528 million barrels a day. The last time oil production had fallen below the 2.5 million barrel-per- day level was in September 2011.

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Mexico’s climate law to face challenge under new president

July 24, 2012

Reuters, 7/24/2012

Enrique Peña Nieto

Mexico’s new president is unlikely to implement much of the sweeping climate change law signed in June by outgoing President Felipe Calderon amid inevitable resistance from industry and his party’s focus on accelerating economic growth and ramping-up oil and gas production, policy experts said.

The president-elect will also be under pressure to deliver a campaign goal to increase Mexico’s GDP growth to as much as 6 percent per year, making a focus on environmental issues unrealistic in his first years in office, experts said.

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Mexico’s Pemex signs deep water oil drilling safety contract

March 30, 2012

Reuters, 3/30/12

Mexico’s state oil monopoly Pemex signed a contract with a company specializing in oil spill clean ups to boost its safety controls as it plunges into exploration of deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Pemex said in a statement on Thursday that Wild Well Control, which was heavily involved in efforts to cap BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, will help Pemex comply with regulations put in place by the country’s oil watchdog the National Hydrocarbons Commision (CNH).

Pemex has limited experience in deep water drilling but estimates there are more than 29 billion barrels of crude equivalent, or 58 percent of the country’s prospective resources, in the Gulf. The country needs to exploit that oil to boost government finances, which depend heavily on crude exports.

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Mexico oil output seen stagnant next 14 yrs

March 1, 2012

Reuters, 3/1/12

Mexico’s oil production is seen stagnating at around 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) over the next 14 years unless the state oil company Pemex significantly boosts investment, the energy ministry said in a report on Wednesday.

The world’s No. 7 oil producer currently produces 2.55 million bpd of oil, as Pemex has managed to stabilize a dramatic decline in production at its largest aging fields, most notably the giant Cantarell field. Pemex has struggled to replace lost output with new discoveries and risks becoming a net oil importer within the next decade as energy demand rises.

By 2026, Cantarell’s production will drop to 150,000 bpd from the 444,000 bpd this year, the energy ministry report said. Since Cantarell’s decline, the Ku-Maloob-Zaap (KMZ) complex has become Mexico’s most important oil field. KMZ will produce 847,000 bpd this year — 32.5 percent of Mexico’s overall output.

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Op-ed: For more oil, U.S. should look to Mexico

March 1, 2012

CNN, 3/1/12

For me, the issue of skyrocketing gasoline prices came into focus about four years ago, when the national average that Americans paid at the pump reached an all-time high of $4.11 a gallon. Today, the average — up 30 cents in the last four weeks, and 13 cents in the last week alone — is about $3.70.

In the summer of 2008, I pulled up next to a gas pump off a major highway in Southern California where — apparently, a few minutes earlier —  a recreational vehicle, which held more than 100 gallons, had stopped to fill up. The price was still on the screen: $500.

Can you imagine paying $500 to put gas in your vehicle? For many of us, that’s more like a monthly car payment. But for those who live in Southern California — where the car is king, public transit is spotty and the carpool lane is almost always underused — even a tab that size hardly raises an eyebrow.

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U.S. Gas Exports Force Drivers Into Bidding War With Mexico At Pump

February 23, 2012

The Huffington Post, 2/23/12

Conservation, high prices, and hard times have led American motorists to dramatically decrease the amount of gasolinethey buy.

But how are they rewarded? With even higher prices, in part because American refiners have started exporting enormous amounts of American gasoline to Mexico and other countries.

Exports of petroleum products — mostly diesel and gasoline — have increased sharply in the last two years, to about a billion barrels in 2011. For the first time, the U.S. is exporting considerably more finished products (though not crude) than it’s importing.

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US, Mexico Close To ‘Major’ Oil-Drilling Practices Pact

February 17, 2012

Fox Business, 2/17/12

The U.S. is close to signing a “major agreement” with Mexico that establishes oil-drilling practices in the Gulf of Mexico, a shared body of water where both countries could be affected by spills, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday.

The agreement could be signed as early as Monday, Salazar said while speaking at a congressional hearing. It will be a “historic agreement that has escaped a resolution and eluded the two countries for decades,” he said. Salazar said he was headed to Mexico in coming days to finalize the agreement.

Formal talks between the two countries started Aug. 30 after Presidents Barack Obama and Felipe Calderon said in May 2010–just days after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded–that their countries would work toward an agreement to facilitate the safe development of oil and natural gas in waters near both countries.

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Mexico’s 1st half oil production down 1 percent, continuing 6-year slide

July 13, 2011

Photo by Flickr user tsuda

Associated Press, 7/13/11

Mexico’s state-owned oil company says crude production fell by about 1 percent in the first half of 2011, as compared to same period last year.

Petroleos Mexicanos says the steady decline in oil output that began around 2005 “has begun to be reversed.”

The company says daily output dropped to about 2.56 million barrels in the first six months of 2011, about 27,000 barrels lower than the same period of 2010.

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