Toward A Cleaner And Leaner Energy Future For North America

5/16/2016 Forbes

By E. Anthony Wayne

4607817256_ee0666b06a_mEnergy and Environment will be key topics when the leaders of North America gather for a Summit in Canada on June 29.  Because of a closer orientation among the three governments, the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States have a real opportunity to think about cooperation across our continent in a new way.  President Obama, Prime Minister Trudeau and President Peña Nieto can enunciate a shared strategic vision of energy security and environmental protection.  That vision, already presaged when Trudeau visited Washington in March, can better align the United States, Canada and Mexico on energy and environment approaches to support prosperity and well-being in North America.  If done well, such cooperation can also become a model for collaboration in other regions, as well as contribute to a more resilient global energy supply.

Mexico, one of the United States’ top energy suppliers and clients, is in the midst of a major reform of its entire energy sector (oil, electricity, gas, transmission, production, sales, etc.), which among other things opens the sector to serious participation by private companies for the first time since the 1930s.  Canada, the largest U.S. energy supplier and most integrated U.S. energy partner, has set a goal forging “an ambitious North American clean energy and environmental agreement,” under new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  The United States has developed new technologies revolutionizing U.S. oil and gas production and has committed to a vigorous set of measures to protect the environment and to support innovation of greener technology.  The current period of low prices for both oil and gas has meant huge challenges but also significant incentives to improve efficiencies in all three countries, and the industry is responding by becoming leaner and more competitive.

Read more…

Mexico Attracts $2.6 Billion in Investments in Power Sale Rerun

Bloomberg Business 3/30/2016

Energy -electricity_transmission_linesRenewable energy developers including Acciona SA and an Enel SpA unit are set to spend $2.6 billion on power plants in Mexico after winning bids in the country’s first-ever electricity auction.

Acciona, Enel Green Power, SunPower Systems and Recurrent Energy were among the 11 companies that won rights to generate and sell 2,085 megawatts of clean power to the state-owned Comision Federal de Electricidad, Mexico said Wednesday.

While the sale was the first since Mexico decided in 2013 to allow private companies to compete for power contracts, it was actually the second time the country ran the auction. The government was forced to hold the sale again after an initial one was botched by a flawed bid from Gestamp Wind. The previous auction had resulted in fewer megawatts contracted and less investments committed, according to results the government has since thrown out.

Read more…

That Didn’t Work as Planned: Mexico’s Oil Monopoly Ends, Then Oil Tanks

2/23/16 Bloomberg

Enrique Pena NietoThe timing couldn’t have been worse. The end of the 76-year Petroleos Mexicanos monopoly was supposed to unleash an investment flood with companies rushing to develop massive oil reserves. It was going to be historic, and then came the rout.

“It’s tragic that Mexico waited so long to open the sector and that when an administration finally passed a meaningful energy reform, the bottom just falls out of oil prices,” said Tim Samples, a Mexican-energy analyst at the University of Georgia in Athens. “The parade did not last very long.”

Now opponents of President Enrique Pena Nieto, who was accused in some quarters of treason when he denationalized the industry in 2014, are saying they’re being proven right. Some want to bring the monopoly back. “A reform needs to be done to the energy reform,” said Jesus Zambrano, president of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the national legislature, last week.

Read more…

Mexico to auction deep-water prospects in Dec

2/22/2016 Financial Times

energy - oil_rigMexico has named the day for its tender of offshore deep-water prospects … almost. The long-awaited auction will be held in “the first few days of December”

That’s what Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s president, told an energy forum in Houston,reports Jude Webber.

The president told the IHS CERAWeek conference the decision came “regardless of the oil price in the short term”. Indeed Mexican officials insist the oil price slide will not hurt the planned auction of blocks in the Gulf of Mexico, saying the projects are long-term and thus interested companies are not swayed by short-term price swings.

Read more…

Mexican President urges UN to reform Security Council, step up action against world drug problem

World Politics Review 9/24/2015

energy - oil_rigEarlier this month, the Mexican government submitted a budget to cut spending in 2016, including reduced investment in the state oil company Pemex, given the drop in global oil prices. In an email interview, Amb. Antonio Garza, former U.S. ambassador to Mexico and currently counsel in the Mexico City office of White & Case LLP, discussed Mexico’s economy and the impact of the oil shock.

WPR: How have declining oil revenues affected Mexico’s budget and spending power?

Antonio Garza: Historically, Mexico has relied on oil revenues to fund roughly one-third of its budget. This arrangement was fairly stable when oil prices were high, but as prices began plummeting last summer, so did the amount of money coming into government coffers, amounting to a roughly 36 percent year-on-year decrease for the first six months of 2015. The drop was steep, but things weren’t as bad as they could have been. Certain policies and outcomes—such as the government’s widespread hedging program, an uptick in non-oil taxes from the 2013 fiscal reform and a revenue surplus from the gasoline price cap—certainly helped lessen the budgetary pressure.

Read more… 

THIS THURSDAY: Second Annual North American Energy Forum

mainWHEN: Thursday, September 17, 9:00am-1:00pm

WHERE: 6th Floor Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP. 

The Mexico and Canada Institutes of the Woodrow Wilson Center are pleased to invite you to the Second Annual North American Energy Forum.

9:00 am – Welcome
Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute
Laura Dawson, Director, Canada Institute, Wilson Center
9:10 am – The Outlook for the Oil and Gas under Low Prices
Moderator: Jan Kalicki, Wilson Center Energy Fellow

Marco Antonio Cota Valdivia, Director General of Exploration & Extraction of Hydrocarbons, Ministry of Energy
Sara Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS
Shirley Neff, Senior Advisor, U.S. Energy Information Administration
Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

• The outlook for North American oil and gas production
• Mexico’s oil and gas reform
• Canada’s oil sands after Keystone and low prices

10:30 am – Keynote Addresses

Cesar Hernandez Ochoa, Mexican Under-Secretary of Energy for Electricity
Amos J. Hochstein, Special Envoy, Bureau of Energy Resources

11:30 am – Coffee and Snack Break

11:45 am – North American Electricity Futures
Moderator: Laura Dawson, Director, Canada Institute

Patrick Brown,  Director of US Affairs, Canadian Electricity Association
John Renehan, Director of Strategy, GE Power and Energy
Eduardo Andrade, Corporate Director, Iberdrola Mexico
Rafael Fernandez
Henry Gentenaar, Managing Partner,  MegaSolar

• The development of Mexico’s electricity market
• Linking the region’s electricity grids and markets
• New technologies and ideas
• Smart grids and distributed generation

1:00 pm – Event Concludes

Click here to RSVP.

Upcoming Event! Second Annual North American Energy Forum

Energy Banner Color UPDATEDWHEN: Thursday, September 17, 9am-4pm

WHERE: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Click here to RSVP

The Mexico and Canada Institutes of the Woodrow Wilson Center are pleased to invite you to the Second Annual North American Energy Forum
Featured Keynote Speakers: 
Mexican Under- Secretary of Energy for Hydrocarbons, Lourdes Melgar
Mexican Under-Secretary of Energy for Electricity, César Hernández Ochoa
The Forum will also feature panels on:
  • The Outlook for Oil and Gas under Low Prices
  • North American Electricity Futures
  • Low Carbon Futures
Over the past year, two new developments have left their mark on North America’s energy markets. The first concerns the impact of low oil prices on the region’s producers, with revenue affecting existing and future projects. Alongside the issue of price, we have seen major developments in all three North American countries. In Mexico, the first round of oil contracts is underway, with contracts awarded for exploration in shallow water in July of 2015. At the same time, we have seen major new investment plans unveiled in the electricity sector. In Canada, major infrastructure challenges and political change in the province of Alberta have altered the investment environment. In the US, the Interior Department proposal to open a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling has generated a highly charged debate, and new EPA rules on emissions have been the subject of analysis and legal challenge. The objective of the forum is to provide insight and draw attention to the challenges and opportunities that these new developments have created.

Click here to RSVP