LOS CABOS - The United States and Mexico agreed Monday to work together on oil and gas development in the Gulf of Mexico, paving the way to end a long-running moratorium on their maritime border.
Under the deal, companies from the United States and Mexico would be encouraged to collaborate on projects over their Gulf maritime boundary but would be able to go ahead on their own if they do not find a partner.
"These reservoirs could hold considerable reserves that would benefit the United States and Mexico alike," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a signing ceremony with Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
Clinton was visiting the Mexican resort of Los Cabos for talks of the Group of 20 major economies, where she has voiced concerns about what she saw as unfair advantages enjoyed by state-supported companies.
Mexico's Pemex enjoys a virtual monopoly on the country's energy industry.
"For the first time, American energy companies will be able to collaborate with Pemex," Clinton said.
"In tough times like these, we need to make the most of every opportunity to create jobs, to foster economic growth and energy security while managing our resources and our environment responsibly for future generations," she said.
U.S. officials said that the agreement, while not specifically authorizing new projects, would provide a legal certainty that would allow companies to move ahead on oil and gas development.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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