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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 summer 2013. Those modifications leverage “partnerships” more than the inherent appeal of untapped reserves, which also means that the success of the reforms depends on flourishing partnerships.)

Just as the US is considering the Keystone XL pipeline, and greater imports of Canadian oil (especially from oil sands), Mexico should look north for US cooperation on its oil and gas projects. Pemex recently brokered a deal for the newly split Los Ramones gas pipeline running from Agua Dulce in South Texas through Nuevo Laredo and Tamaulipas to Aguascalientes (Los Ramones Norte – estimated cost US$1 billion) and then to Querétaro/Guanajuato (Los Ramones Sur – estimated cost US$800 million). TransCanada, Enagás (Spain) and GDF Suez France expressed interest in…

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