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.

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Mexico making changes to lure private oil producers

9/20/2015 San Antonio Express News

energy- oil pumps 2Mexico has changed some rules in hopes of better results as it moves forward with historic privatization of its oil industry, but the revisions haven’t quelled fears that the overhaul is intended more to fill government coffers than to build a free market energy industry.

A government-run auction in July offering private companies the first chance in more than 75 years to own Mexican oil and gas failed when only a few producers showed interest.

Regulators shifted the bidding requirements and fiscal terms to sweeten a second auction scheduled for Sept. 30, but that might not be enough to pique extensive investor interest in a time of slumping oil prices.

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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.

Mexico to slash spending by $5.8bn

9/9/2015 Financial Times

energy- oil pumps 2Mexico plans to cut spending by another $5.8bn in 2016, finance minister Luis Videgaray said on Tuesday, after its economy was buffeted by tough global economic conditions and especially the drop in oil prices.

A 2016 budget package, which he submitted to Congress, reduces spending by 1.15 per cent of gross domestic product compared with the 2015 package — a total of 221bn pesos ($13bn). Mr Videgaray said that more than half of the budgetary belt-tightening had already happened — amid falling oil prices, Mexico’s main budgetary problem, the government announced a pre-emptive 124bn peso austerity drive in January.

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SMU Tower Center launches unique research program for policy-based analysis of Texas-Mexico relationship

9/8/2015 Southern Methodist University

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies is launching an ambitious new program to research and promote policy-based discussion on the economic, political and social ties between Mexico and Texas.

The program is made possible through a $1 million gift from GRUMA-Mission Foods, a Mexican corporation with global reach headquartered in Dallas.  The program is designed to elevate the frequently fractured conversations about and between Texas and Mexico, creating a platform that examines shared issues through a policy lens. Plans include:

  • Texas-Mexico research, grants, reports, and white papers
  • Binational and bilingual annual conferences
  • Academic seminars and public forums

“Economics, energy, migration, culture, human capital, internet technology and cyber security are obvious topics for study, but the door is open,” said Juan Antonio González Moreno, Chairman and CEO of GRUMA. “We found in this program a tremendous opportunity to build a foundation for what should become the primary think tank on Texas-Mexico relations.” The list of potential topics is open to almost anything that impacts the relationship between Texas and Mexico.

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

Mexico to Rely on Financial Tools to Boost Investment

9/2/2015 Wall Street Journal

financeMEXICO CITY—Days before Mexico’s government unveils the most austere budget in years because to falling oil prices, President Enrique Peña Nieto has decided to rely on new financial tools to boost investment in such key sectors as education, infrastructure and energy.

“Mexico will be developing innovative financial instruments that will allow us to capture more capital flows…and to direct them to infrastructure projects,” said Mr. Peña Nieto in his annual state of the nation address Wednesday at the National Palace.

In his speech, Mr. Peña Nieto said the government will be issuing education infrastructure bonds to obtain from investors around $3 billion in the next three years to help improve public schools. The funds will complement education budgets.

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