New Publications | Global Agenda Council on the Future of Oil & Gas

Mexico Institute Director Duncan Wood has been working with the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Oil and Gas for the past two years. They have now published several short publications and blog posts. Check them out below!

Blog Posts:

What happens when demand for oil peaks

Big oil has a big trust problem – can the industry put that right?

Publications:

Future Oil Demand Scenarios

Trust Challenges Facing Global Oil & Gas Industry

Future of Oil & Gas (synthesis)

Also, check out the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Oil and Gas’ webpage here: https://www.weforum.org/communities/global-agenda-council-on-the-future-of-oil-gas

Mexico Unleashes Gas Stations From Pemex

3/31/2016 Wall Street Journal

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MEXICO CITY—For the past eight decades, Mexican drivers have had only one choice of filling stations: state oil firm Petróleos Mexicanos. But that is going to change in coming months as the country’s first privately branded gasoline stations open for business.

Starting Friday, Mexico will allow private companies to import gasoline for the first time since the late 1930s, which had since been the exclusive domain of Pemex. The market opening paves the way for the country’s existing 11,400 filling stations—which are all Pemex franchises but independently owned—to link up with another company.

The changes are part of a sweeping 2014 overhaul that ended Mexico’s state monopoly of the energy sector, allowing oil-and-gas firms to explore and produce oil directly. But new oil is still years away, and low prices have sapped some of the initial enthusiasm. That leaves gas stations as a place where drivers can notice the changes first.

Read more…

Mexico and the Nuclear Summit: Can Peña Nieto Seize the Opportunity?

3/31/2016 The Expert Take, Mexico Institute

expert I (2)By Duncan Wood and Cristina Contreras

President Enrique Peña Nieto is in Washington this week to participate in the Nuclear Summit hosted by U.S. President Obama. While most attention has been focused on the participation of other countries in the talks, the explicit request by the United States government for the Mexican President’s presence offers an opportunity to focus on Mexico’s highly positive role in the global nuclear non-proliferation and safeguards regime. Although Mexico is not a major nuclear player, with no nuclear weapons and only one nuclear power plant of note (Laguna Verde, a 1.365 GW capacity plant that produces 4.5% of the nation’s electricity), the country has nonetheless played an important role in the history of non-proliferation and continues to be a showcase for best practices in the nuclear safeguards realm.

Mexico is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), ratifying the treaty in 1969 and the Additional Protocol in 2004. It is also party to the 1979 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, ratified in 1988. Most importantly, however, Mexico became a pioneer of the non-proliferation movement through the 1967 hosting and negotiation of the Treaty of Tlatelolco (Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean).  This groundbreaking treaty among the nations of the western hemisphere was instrumental in making Latin America a nuclear weapons-free zone. Just as significant as the impact of the treaty in the hemisphere has been its legacy in Mexico’s foreign service, where it is seen as representing the pinnacle of Mexican diplomatic prowess. Mexico serves as the depository for the treaty. Alfonso Garcia Robles, the Mexican diplomat who was the driving force behind the treaty and who later became foreign minister, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1982 for his achievement.

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…

Gulf Oil, Gas Leases Up for Sale; Environmentalists Protest

3/23/16 New York Times

532687354_fdef042d72_zNEW ORLEANS — The federal government is selling off oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico during a sale Wednesday, but environmentalists opposed to fossil fuels development on public lands plan to protest.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is offering about 45 million acres for exploration and development. Companies submit bids in advance to the agency, which announces the results at the sale. It’s held at the Superdome.

Wednesday’s auction will be for lots in the central and eastern sections of the Gulf. The central region is generally the most active part of the Gulf. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said Tuesday that it had received 148 bids on 128 blocks in the central section but had received no bids for the eastern region.

Interest has been limited in recent sales as the industry struggles with low energy prices.

Read more…

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Mexico to Proceed With Auction Round for Shale Fields This Year

3/18/16 Bloomberg

shalegasMexico will hold a private bidding round for the nation’s shale oil fields this year in part to cater to continued interest from U.S. drillers eyeing expansion south of the border, according to Deputy Energy Minister Lourdes Melgar.

The country’s shale auction “will be this year,” Melgar said in an interview at the Foreign Affairs Mexico Energy Future Conference in New York. Mexico temporarily suspended plans for the country’s first-ever auction of its so-called unconventional oil and natural gas fields last year amid falling international crude prices.

“Companies working on the U.S. side of the border have expressed interest in working on other side of the border,” Melgar said. The interested parties are the “usual suspects” that are producing oil and natural gas in U.S. shale fields and are “mostly independent companies that have been very successful in shale development,” she said.

Mexico Institute Resources on the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue

Vice President Joe Biden and several other high-level U.S. officials are traveling to Mexico for the third meeting of the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue, which will take place in Mexico City on February 25, 2016. The U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) was created by Presidents Barack Obama and Enrique Peña Nieto in May 2013, in order to advance strategic economic and commercial priorities that are central to promoting regional economic growth, job creation, and global competitiveness for Mexico and the United States. The HLED meets annually at the cabinet level, and builds on and promotes sustained progress in a range of existing successful bilateral dialogues and working groups.

In a recent interview on NPR’s Marketplace, Director Duncan Wood suggested the meeting would address the Trans Pacific Partnership, including its potential impact on will U.S.-Mexico trade, and how lower energy prices are affecting the economies and competitiveness of the region. The Mexico Institute is pleased to share with you several recent articles regarding U.S.-Mexico economic relations published ahead of the HLED.

Related Material

The United States and Mexico: Building and Designing Things Together
In this article on Forbes.com, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and current Wilson Center Public Policy Fellow E. Anthony Wayne joins former Under Secretary for North America of Mexico’s Foreign Ministry and current UNAM Professor Sergio Alcocer to write about U.S.-Mexico trade and the agenda items for the High Level Economic Dialogue.

Depressed Energy Prices Cause Decline in U.S.-Mexico Trade
Deputy Director Christopher Wilson writes about the impact of low energy prices on U.S.-Mexico trade in this post on the Mexico Institute Forbes blog.

The “Bridge to Nowhere” Now Connects the United States and Mexico
On February 4, 2016, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and U.S. Secretaries of Homeland Security and Commerce inaugurated a new border crossing just south of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne and Deputy Director Christopher Wilson discuss this in their op-ed on Forbes.com.

North American Needs to Pivot…to North America
In this U.S. election year, it is important to shift the conversation to the importance of U.S. relations with Mexico and Canada. This column, by the former Canadian ambassador to the U.S., the former Mexican ambassador to the U.S., and the former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, suggests that all three nations increase their focus on advancing trilateral economic relations and improve collaboration on major security issues including illegal trafficking, extremism, and terrorism. This article appeared in The World Post, The Globe and Mail, and El Universal.