EPRINC Assessment on Mexico’s Oil and Gas Challenges by Rafael Sandrea

Mexico is an essential piece of the North American petroleum production platform, and Mexico’s oil and gas reserves and production are at a critical crossroads. Oil reserves would be exhausted in ten years and gas reserves in six without massive new capital commitments. Of a total of 465 oil fields discovered, today a handful of ten currently account for nearly two-thirds of all domestic production; likewise, of the 700-plus gas fields discovered, ten account for almost half of all gas production.

The energy reform measures implemented in Mexico over the last few years, also known as the New Energy Model, offer considerable potential to lift oil and gas production, increase employment and deliver technological advances, and additional revenues for Mexico’s federal, state, and local governments. The New Energy Model has brought new investment into Mexico’s petroleum provinces, and there has been significant investment in seismic surveys and commitments for new wells. This expanded activity in the petroleum sector, entirely from private investment, has led to new discoveries.

Mexico’s new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (often referred to as AMLO), has expressed skepticism towards the energy reforms of the previous administration and has halted most initiatives to bring new private capital into the development of Mexico’s oil and gas resources. Although Mexico has not had a full public debate on all aspects of AMLO’s criticism of the New Energy Model, this EPRINC assessment demonstrates that without massive new commitments of capital for petroleum development, Mexico’s oil and gas future is grim.

The Spanish-language version of the assessment can be found here.


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