Mexico's Energy Industry
Oil reserves6.1 billion barrels
Oil production1.93 million bopd
Gas reserves200 bcm
Gas production29.2 bcm
Mexico: Latin America's New Energy Powerhouse
The implementation of the Energy Reform Act in August 2014 marked a new era not only for the Mexico’s domestic hydrocarbons industry, but also for the country itself. Among the changes resulting from the act are the restructuring of NOC Pemex to increase efficiency and the opening of oil and gas value chain from E&P to retail to private foreign and domestic companies. Since 2015, two four-tender rounds have taken place, as well as the first auction of Round 3.1. Three more tenders were scheduled for 2018, but have been postponed. Additionally, in 2016, Pemex began farming out some of its more complex acreage to private companies with greater technological expertise and financial resources.
In addition to the reform, one of the biggest drivers of change in Mexico’s energy industry is growing demand for natural gas. Consumption is expected to rise by 64% between 2013 and 2027. Since 2010, Mexico’s gas imports from the USA have grown by 300%, and the US Energy Information Administration predicts they will double by 2019. Demand is outpacing storage and distribution capacity, a problem that spurred the government to lay out the Five-Year National Integrated Natural Gas Transportation and Storage Plan 2015-2019 which aimed to expand the natural gas pipeline network.
Despite being a crude oil exporter, Mexico has been a net fuel importer since 1998. Pemex has taken steps to stem losses downstream, by partnering with private investors for upgrades and expansions at several of its ageing refineries. Additionally, the country’s new president is promoting a project to build a new mega-refinery in Tabasco. The liberalisation of fuel prices across the country was completed in November 30, 2017. That, coupled with fuel demand growth, has created an environment in which local and foreign, small and large fuel retailers can prosper. In March 2017, BP became the first private foreign fuel retailer in the Mexican market. Since then, several others have entered the sector.
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