US Energy Companies Poised to Benefit from Mexico Energy Reform

Mexico has the sixth largest technically recoverable reserve of shale gas and the eight largest technically recoverable reserve of shale oil in the world, but its deepwater and shale reserves are literally unexplored. BBVA Compass noted that the country has less than 5 percent of total deep water rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, while in 2012 it authorized the drilling of 3 shale oil and gas wells. In the same year, 9,100 wells were authorized in the United States.

Major oil companies that could be immediate contenders in Mexico’s deepwater following reform Exxon Mobil Corp., BP plc, Chevron Corp., Hess Corp., and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Oilfield service companies that could benefit from deepwater activity include Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc., FMC Technologies, Seadrill Ltd., Transocean Ltd., Baker Hughes Inc., Schlumberger Ltd. and National Oilwell Varco.

EOG Resources Inc., ConocoPhillips and Chesapeake Energy Corp. are among the companies that could lead Mexico’s shale gas transformation. The portion of the Eagle Ford Shale formation that extends into Mexico is part of the Burgos Basin, where technically recoverable shale gas is currently projected at 343 trillion cubic feet, two thirds of Mexico's technically recoverable shale gas resources. Sabinas, Tampico, and Veracruz Basins account for most of the remaining reserves.

Nava predicts the reforms will pump around $1.2 trillion to the Texas-Northern Mexico region in the next decade. In the United States, Mexico's reforms will create faster growth, helping to narrow the socio-economic disparities between Texas' border cities and metro areas like Houston, Dallas and Austin.              

"If these border towns effectively seize the opportunity," Nava said, the U.S.-Mexico border "could see one of the most dramatic transformations in its history."

Demand Seen for Geoscience Professionals for Future Mexico Activity

While specific numbers remain known at this point, NES Global Talent sees high demand for workers with a background in geosciences, such as geophysicists and geologists, for both offshore and land exploration, following the passage of Mexico’s energy reform last December, Carolyn Stewart, regional business development manager with NES Global Talent, said in an interview with Rigzone.

The lack of financial resources and manpower has prevented PEMEX from fully exploring its oil reserves; geoscience workers will be needed to better estimate the amount of untapped resources in Mexico. 


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