Sentido Comun – Oil extended its fall to below $50 per barrel due to speculation that crude inventories will continue increase, thereby pushing prices to the lowest level since April 2009.
By Katherine Corcoran / Associated Press
As he heads to Washington on Monday to meet with Barack Obama, Enrique Pena Nieto leaves behind a year that was hardly what he had envisioned.
The Mexican president and his team started 2014 carrying out a slew of newly passed reforms, from breaking up telecommunications monopolies to opening the nation’s energy sector, earning him international plaudits, including a Time magazine cover with his image above the caption “Saving Mexico.”
Then came a 1-2-3 punch of scandals: Soldiers killing 22 civilians in a questionable “shootout”; the abduction and presumed murder of 43 college students, allegedly at the hands of local officials and police in league with a drug cartel; and revelations that Pena Nieto and his treasury secretary live in luxury homes built and financed by a favorite government contractor.
Pena Nieto’s meeting with Obama at the White House on Tuesday comes amid what was supposed to be “Mexico’s moment,” a new era of transparency and reform.
Clean Technica – The city of La Paz is soon going to be powered 100 percent by solar energy. With a 39 megawatt solar power in place, Grupotec is building another.
Reuters – Mexico’s government said on Friday that its latest “gasolinazo,” or gasoline price spike, will be the only increase this year.
Financial Times – While Mexico’s reforms will reshape the country’s energy industry over the next few years, they will also bring about investment opportunities in the energy industry throughout the rest of Latin America.
WSJ – Mexico’s crude oil production fell in 2014 for a 10th consecutive year. Petróleos Mexicanos produced 2.353 million barrels a day of crude oil in December, bringing average output for 2014 to 2.429 million barrels a day, compared with 2.522 million in 2013.
San Antonio Business Journal – Mexico’s historic energy reforms go into effect on Jan. 1, but officials have just released technical documents that outline rules for imports and exports in this new market.
EFE – Spanish infrastructure company ACS said its Dragados Offshore unit built a platform in the Gulf of Mexico for Mexican state-owned oil giant Pemex that will produce oil and gas.
El Dario de Yucatan – Mexico’s energy reform will not harm the ejido system or ejidotarios, said Secretary of Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano Jorge Carlos Ramirez Marin.
Reuters – The allure of investing in Mexico’s historic oil sector opening has been dimmed by the plummeting price of crude, putting pressure on the government to offer bigger incentives to private investors in the first major round of contracts up for grabs.
Financial Times – You don’t have to look far to see the impact on Mexico of falling oil prices (now close to a five-year low): just take a look at the trade balance of state giant Pemex . It slumped by half in one month, to $656 million in October from $1.3 billion in September, and that was before the combination of Mexico’s lower production and lower world prices really began to bite.
So now would be a good time to take a cold look at how much damage falling prices could really do to Mexico as it prepares to open up its oil sector to private investment, what Mexico could do about it, what wider impact that could have, and what the US and the International Monetary Fund could do to help.
Bloomberg – Cydsa is diving into new energy opportunities at home. The maker of products ranging from refrigerant gases to acrylic yarn announced a joint venture with Petroleos Mexicanos to store liquefied petroleum gas in a salt cavern for 20 years, at a planned cost of about $130 million.
Sentido Comun – Comision Federal de Electricidad took another important step in plans to cede control of telecommunications by seeking assignment to the Federal Telecommunications Institute.
Business Wire – InterGen says its Altamira Compression Station in Tamaulipas is now operational. The 40,000 horsepower station will transport up to 1.3 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas in Mexico’s pipeline system.
The Street – With prices of crude oil at fresh five-year lows, investors are wondering when Saudi Arabia might finally cry uncle, cut oil production and reverse the dramatic slide in oil prices. Yet Mexico, a non-OPEC country and third largest exporter of oil to the U.S. behind Canada and the Saudi Arabia, could have nearly as much near-term influence on oil prices as Saudi Arabia if they cut their own production.
Reuters – Mexico said will cap the number of shallow water contracts companies can bid for as it outlined the tender for the first leg of the country’s energy sector opening.
Bloomberg – KKR & Co. is looking at possible investments in Mexico as the nation ends a seven-decade state monopoly in oil production, said David Petraeus.
Financial Times – Mexico is developing gas futures contracts to exploit demand for hedging tools as the country opens up the hydrocarbons sector it has closed for nearly 80 years.
Financial Times – Appearances are very important in Mexico. So the head of Pemex looked rather conspicuous by his absence at the launch of the long-awaited tender terms.
CNBC – Mexico is one of the few oil producers that might not be concerned about the massive drop in the price of oil. Regardless of market price, the nation will get $76.50 per barrel.