Australia Forms Energy Partnership with Mexico

Australia and Mexico have announced a partnership to explore opportunities for the exchange of information and transfer of energy technology between the two countries. Meeting at the APEC Energy Ministers forum in Mexico, Ernesto Martens, Mexico’s Minister of Energy, and Ian Macfarlane, Australia’s Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, have agreed to encourage further bilateral cooperation in the energy sector. "Mexico and Australia are obvious and natural partners when it comes to the reform of our respective energy sectors. I believe we’re shaking off traditional mind-sets, and are embracing technological and infrastructure change to successfully establish ourselves as safe, secure energy providers," said Mr. Macfarlane.

The proposed working partnership could involve exchanging ideas covering infrastructure reform, technology transfer, training and exchanges of personnel as well as development of expertise in areas including oil, coal, natural gas, electricity and renewable energy. The Ministers also discussed the prospect of bilateral collaboration in LNG involving Australian companies supplying product to projected new terminals in Mexico. Australian companies could also examine equity and operating positions in Mexican LNG terminalling.

"This is a move to capitalize on the natural advantages our two countries possess when it comes to both energy generation and supply. But it’s more than just cooperation between our governments, we are also keen to involve the private sector in the collaborative project," said Mr. Macfarlane.

"The Gulf of Mexico is now beckoning Australia’s oil majors but any involvement will require substantial interaction with Mexican partners. So we have an opportunity to encourage the exchange of ideas, personnel and technology to the benefit of both economies and energy sectors. It’s a case of two heads being better than one."

The APEC Energy Ministerial Meeting, which commences today in Mexico City, is the 5th meeting of regional energy ministers. The inaugural conference was hosted by Australia in 1996. The 2002 meeting is being opened by Mexico’s President Fox, an indication of the importance attached to energy matters by the United Mexican States.