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Geopolitics / North America

  • Mexico, Pemex and the Oil Theft Threat

    Oil theft from Nigerian pipelines tends to steal (literally) the media spotlight due to the sheer volume and the external markets that encourage it. But the same issue in Mexico receives little attention, and while it may not compare to Nigeria, it is an issue that continues to plague Pemex, not to mention endanger critical infrastructure, livelihoods, and lives. This week we are examining the oil and gas theft threat level in Mexico aided by the ongoing intelligence operations conducted by our partners at Southern Pulse. On 16 December 2013 in the municipality of Tezoyuca, Mexico State, approximately 42 kilometers…

  • Mexico Readies to Join North American Oil Boom

    U.S. oil production last month reached its highest monthly total in 25 years. South of the border, the story is different, though Mexico's decision to end a state oil monopoly in place for 75 years may consolidate the America's supremacy over the international energy market. Mexican legislators passed a reform ending the 75-year state grip on the energy sector in overwhelming fashion. Petroleos Mexicanos, the former monopoly known also as Pemex, is on course for nine straight years of production decline. That could change as the measure, passed Thursday, was lauded as the most significant measure for the Mexican economy since…

  • Looking North: Mexico and the US

    Bottom Line: Energy reform in Mexico will probably happen in pieces, and more slowly than it first appeared, but it must happen.Analysis: A recent presentation by a big oil CEO highlighted the US’ interest in working with Canada. A number of times throughout his presentation he compared the US/Canada combined market to China, Japan, Europe, and India. But North America doesn’t stop in El Paso.In recent conversations with oil majors, the “Mexico fever” that erupted following President Enrique Peña Nieto’s pledge to reform the energy industry seems to have subsided since the specifics of his contemplated changes became public in…

  • THE Game-Changing Mexico Opportunity

    What if Mexico were to privatize its state-owned oil company Pemex around the same time that the US and Mexico ended the moratorium on oil and gas production along their shared Gulf of Mexico border? Opportunities galore …Opening up the Mexican energy sector to private investment is one of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s top priorities, and we expect that reform to begin in 2013. This—coupled with the US House of Representatives’ recent ratification of the US-Mexico trans-boundary oil and gas agreement--means that production could begin soon along some very lucrative Gulf of Mexico acreage.  Getting Rid of those Institutional IconsPeña…

  • Transparency Squabble Stalls US-Mexico Oil & Gas Deal

    The US House has ratified an agreement governing oil and gas development along the US-Mexico border, possibly breaking the moratorium on production here and adding in a controversial clause that exempts companies from divulging payments made to foreign governments.  The US-Mexico Hydrocarbon Transboundary Agreement (TBA) sets up a framework for joint development of oil and gas assets on the shared border in the Gulf of Mexico by US companies and Mexico’s state-run Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).  About 1.5 million acres and an estimated 172 million barrels of oil and 304 billion cubic feet of natural gas are covered by the agreement.…

  • Why the US government Spies on its own Citizens

    As the latest and greatest scandal, act of tyranny, unfolds before the United States citizenry, we have to look back and ask why. Why would the government need to collect every stroke of the keyboard, every phone call made and every website visited? If the government isn’t out of control and attempting something that’s very sinister in nature, then why would this information be necessary? What is the point of collecting all this information on each and every citizen? I understand the NFL pre-season is about to begin and most folks really can’t be bothered with such trivial questions of…

  • US-EUROPE: The Free Trade Drama

    Bottom Line: A pending free-market deal between the US and the European Union could open up a massive transatlantic market that could account for 56% of global imports and exports and ostensibly could help Europe out of its economic limbo—but at the cost of some European legislative norms that Brussels isn’t keen to give up. The bigger beneficiary will be the US.  Analysis: With this deal, US exports to Europe could increase by up to 20% thanks to a removal of customs duties that come along with a free-trade agreement. By contrast, the European Union GNP growth will be about…

  • With Jewell, Obama Says Go Green or Go Home

    Sally Jewell, President Barack Obama's choice to replace Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, comes with a resume filled not only with big oil credentials but also with environmental street credibility. The top executive at outdoor retailer Recreational Equipment Inc has no government experience and yet comes to a job with historic divisions over allegiance. Her pro-business qualifications may give those in the energy sector something to rally around as they press harder for access to public lands. Energy hawks, however, have taken a wait-and-see approach. Environmentalists, meanwhile, lauded the choice because of her "love" for conservation. While boasting a resume that…

  • U.S. Deems Chinese Canadian Energy Purchase National Security Risk

    By now, the world is well aware of China’s insatiable global search for reliable energy resources to feed its seemingly unstoppable economy. From Sudan to Canada, Chinese energy companies are snapping up assets in order to diversify the country’s resources for hydrocarbons.But those efforts in Canada may be having an unintended “blowback” in the U.S.What’s the problem?China National Offshore Oil Corp.’s proposed buyout of Canada’s Nexen Inc. Nexen Inc., an oil and gas company based in Calgary, Alberta, has worldwide operations including the North Sea, Colombia, the Gulf of Mexico, and Alberta's Athabasca Oil Sands.State-owned CNOOC Ltd. is encountering a…

  • US Sanctions Against Iran Undermined by New Government Admissions

    The announcement of the Iranian government that it will activate its Fordow nuclear enrichment site has predictably drawn forth a new round of war propaganda from the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In contrast, the Chinese media accurately report Iran’s affirmation that the new site will be subject to UN inspections and so is perfectly legal. Ironically, what Clinton says is diametrically opposite from the repeated assurances given by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, that Iran is not trying to construct a nuclear warhead. True, he put it in a misleading way, saying that Iran “is not yet building a…