NAFTA Talks Called Opportunity to ‘Lock In’ Mexican Energy Reforms, U.S. Gas Trade

09/11/2017 Natural Gas Intel

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations are an opportunity to update the 1994 treaty so that it reflects changes in Mexico’s oil and natural gas sector and deepened ties to Canada and U.S. energy markets, according to analysts.

“North American energy markets have changed, and there are the new reforms in Mexico,” BDO Mexico’s Rita Mireya Valdivia Hernandez, a partner in the tax practice, told NGI.  “We need to adapt or modify NAFTA so that it is aligned with what North America is today.”

Talks to hammer out the details of a new NAFTA began in mid-August with the first of seven negotiating rounds scheduled through December. Delegates from the United States, Mexico and Canada met again in early September, while the third round is scheduled for Sept. 23-27.

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Protecting Mexico’s Energy Reforms

8/14/2017 RealClear World

By Duncan Wood

When President Salinas Gortari signed the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement for Mexico in 1992, he provided certainty and stability for investors hoping to benefit from Mexico’s emerging manufacturing base. The trade deal locked in the benefits of domestic economic reforms and liberalization introduced in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The steady flow of foreign investment that followed turned Mexico into a manufacturing powerhouse.

When negotiators from Mexico, Canada, and the United States start talks on Wednesday to renegotiate aspects of the 23-year-old agreement, they too hope to lock in recently won gains in Mexico that are of enormous interest to all parties. One priority must be to defend hard-won reforms in Mexico’s energy sector — reforms meant to change a sector that was closed and monopolistic for 75 years. Since U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, a broad-based movement has emerged that aims to defend two decades of free trade in the region and to insist on the urgency of “doing no harm” during renegotiation. NAFTA’s defenders have managed to influence a change in language: Where commentators once spoke of renegotiating a pact Trump characterized as the worst trade deal signed by the United States, the negotiations are now widely framed as an opportunity to modernize a venerable trade deal so that it more accurately reflects the needs and priorities of the 21st century economy.

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After the Storm in U.S.-Mexico Relations

3/31/2017 The Wilson Quarterly

Articles by Duncan Wood, Christopher Wilson, Andrew Selee, Eric L. Olson, Earl Anthony Wayne & Arturo Sarukhan

The relationship between Mexico and the United States is facing its most severe test in decades. Although a new tone and new ideas are needed, the economic, political, and security fundamentals matter more than ever.

Browse the full Winter 2017 issue of Wilson Quarterly here…

Leveraging the U.S.-Mexico Relationship to Strengthen Our Economies, by Christopher Wilson

A New Migration Agenda Between the United States and Mexico, by Andrew Selee

The Merida Initiative and Shared Responsibility in U.S.-Mexico Security Relations, by Eric L. Olson

U.S.-Mexico Energy and Climate Collaboration, by Duncan Wood

Toward a North American Foreign Policy Footprint, by Earl Anthony Wayne & Arturo Sarukhan

 

Will the Next Deepwater Horizon Be in Mexico?

12/7/16 The New York Times

1280px-development-driller-2In Dec. 5, Mexico’s Energy Ministry began auctioning off the crown jewels of its oil reserves, deepwater tracts that, along with those for fracking, are supposed to set off an oil-and-gas rush south of the border. The auctions are a result of a 2013 law that opened the country’s oil and gas industry to private companies, after 75 years of public ownership. What could go wrong?

Plenty, as recent experiences in the United States suggest. Five years ago, Deepwater Horizon familiarized the world with the risks of deepwater drilling, and Americans are increasingly aware of the dangers of hydraulic fracking. In Mexico, the threats from both will be magnified: The state-owned oil company, Petroleros Mexicanos, or Pemex, has long operated with scant environmental oversight, a legacy that will most likely carry over as private-sector operations take over.

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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 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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