Mexico: 14 gunmen killed in shootout with police in Veracruz

12/6/16 The Washington Post 

download-4XALAPA, Mexico — Mexican police and marines have killed 14 presumed criminal gang members in a shootout in the troubled Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

The state joint security agency says in a statement that a patrol came under fire Monday afternoon on a road in the town of Jesus Carranza, near the border of Oaxaca state. The patrol called for backup, and 14 suspects died in the firefight. Agents seized 13 assault rifles and a weapon capable of piercing armored vehicles.

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Mexicans rethink relationship with US

12/5/16 BBC News

Foreign officials in Washington are struggling to get to know the president-elect’s transition team and are experiencing a sense of anxiety about the incoming administration. But none of them, as an Obama White House official told me, are as worried as the Mexicans.

Recently, a New York City panel on Mexican infrastructure, featuring Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Mexico’s secretary of communications and transportation, and other officials from Mexico City was abruptly cancelled.

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Successful Auction Encourages Mexico to Step Up Oil Opening

12/6/16 The Wall Street Journal

download-3MEXICO CITY—Buoyed by the results of Mexico’s first deep-water oil auction, widely seen as a big success, President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government plans to raise the bet. Mexico intends to hold a second, much bigger deep-water auction around October next year, while state firm Petróleos Mexicanos will likely seek as many as 25 partnerships with private firms over the next two years, Energy Minister Pedro Joaquín Coldwell said in an interview.

“We’re going to be more ambitious, we’ll take a step forward because we now have more experience,” said Mr. Coldwell. “What we’ll very likely see are auctions with many more oil blocks than what we have seen so far.”

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Mexico Overtakes Canada as No. 2 U.S. Exporter Ahead of Trump

6/12/16 Bloomberg

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Mexico is overtaking Canada as the No. 2 exporter of goods to the U.S. this year, in a sign of how economic ties have deepened between the two countries even as the relationship is being questioned by President-elect Donald Trump.

Shipments from Mexico totaled $245 billion in the first 10 months of the year, according to Commerce Department figures released Tuesday, ahead of Canada’s $230 billion. If the trend continues, it would be the first time ever the U.S. bought more imports from its neighbor to the south. The two countries ended 2015 tied in exports to the U.S.

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Mexico president creates 4 new protected biological reserves

5/12/16 The Washington Post

Cerro_de_Bernal_Norte.JPGMEXICO CITY — Mexico’s president signed decrees creating four new biological reserves and five other protected areas Monday, setting aside about 160 million acres (65 million hectares) for environmental conservation.

Enrique Pena Nieto’s office said in a statement that it was the largest amount of land the country has ever decreed as environmentally protected, and with it Mexico joins a group of nations that have met a commitment to safeguard 10 percent of their maritime area. It said Mexico has now designated 23 percent of its sea surface as protected.

The decrees establish the reserves of the Pacific Islands, comprising some 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares) of waters off the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula; the Mexican Deep Pacific, a swath of ocean over 2,600 feet (800 meters) deep from Chiapas state to Nayarit; the Mexican Caribbean, which includes an important reef system; and the Mountains of Tamaulipas, a habitat for various feline species and the source for eight different watersheds.

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Mexico Oil Auction Succeeds in Drawing World’s Biggest Drillers

12/5/16 Bloomberg Markets

download (3).jpgMexico’s first competitive deep-water oil auction surpassed expectations as eight of 10 blocks were awarded to some of the world’s top oil companies. The National Hydrocarbons Commission awarded all four blocks in the oil-rich Perdido Basin, where the geology is said to mirror the U.S. side of the Gulf of Mexico, to companies including Total SA, CNOOC Ltd, Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. In the Salina Basin in the south, which is less explored and therefore considered riskier, four of six blocks were awarded. Separately, BHP Billiton Ltd. won the right to develop the Trion field in the Gulf along with Pemex.

The deep-water auction signals the beginning of a new era for Mexico, which ended state-controlled Petroleos Mexicanos’s 75-year monopoly in the energy sector in 2013 by opening the doors to foreign competitors.

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Mexico deep water oil push taps data that solved dinosaur riddle

5/11/12 Reuters

oil wellA long-awaited auction of Mexico’s untapped deep water oil fields on Monday has been fueled by a nearly $3 billion boom in geological data mapping almost inaccessible deposits to open up what the industry sees as the world’s “last great proven frontier.”

The data rush of the past two years by many top geophysical companies has sparked some of the biggest imaging projects ever for technology also used to hunt for the ruins of ancient civilizations and explain the fate of the dinosaurs.

“What they’re doing is literally rewriting the geological model of the Gulf of Mexico,” Juan Carlos Zepeda, head of the national hydrocarbons commission (CNH), Mexico’s oil regulator, said ahead of Monday’s deep water auctions where the likes of Chevron (CVX.N) and BP (BP.L) are expected to participate.

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