Opinion: Mexico, Energy and the Border

This opinion piece presents the opinions of the author. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Rigzone.

The following is a statement by Antonio Garza, a former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Counsel in the Mexico City office of White & Case and Chairman of Vianovo Ventures.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has spoken forcefully about his plan to address the challenges that have impeded Mexico's economic and social progress. And recently, he laid out his intention to address perhaps the most contentious: Mexico's energy sector.

Many believe the president will achieve his goal to allow increased private and foreign participation in the oil and gas and power sectors. That's partly due to his political savvy, but also because reform is sorely needed from the standpoint of energy production and the nation's fiscal sustainability.

The prospect of liberalization in Mexico's energy sector has long been of interest to global oil companies and service providers. The country has significant resources, deepwater and unconventional. And the national oil company, Pemex, has been unable to develop much of them, largely due to both insufficient investment capital, and technological capability.

Deepwater is thought to hold the strongest lure, but Mexico's unconventional hydrocarbons potential is great. In 2013, the country's prospective shale gas resources were estimated by the U.S. Energy Information Administration as the 6th largest in the world.

Indeed, it is in the development of these unconventional resources that the most transformative effects of Mexico's energy reform may be felt. For proof, consider the dramatic turnaround in U.S. energy fortunes due largely to new techniques that have made the country's plentiful stores of shale oil and gas economically recoverable.


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