Adviser Contradicts Mexico’s President-Elect on Unconventional Natural Gas Development

Mexico’s next government will prioritize natural gas production, transportation and storage projects, according to a top energy adviser of President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Mexico imports 92% of the natural gas that it consumes, excluding the gas that national oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) extracts and uses, former Pemex board member Fluvio Ruíz Alarcón said last week.

To reduce that number, Mexico must incentivize domestic gas production Ruíz told an audience in Houston at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

One way to do this could be to offer fiscal incentives for gas-focused upstream projects, said Ruíz, who reportedly is the top pick to lead Pemex’s exploration and production (E&P) division after López Obrador takes office on Dec. 1.

In a departure from the president-elect, who said recently he would not allow hydraulic fracturing (fracking) when he takes office, Ruíz said that unconventional gas exploration and development should indeed be pursued .

“I think at the end, there will be a compromise between our environmental concerns and our energy needs, talking about shale gas,” Ruiz said. “These environmental concerns are very strong within [López Obrador’s] coalition. So I hope that we can have another research project as we already had, to get more lessons about how to exploit the shale with all these environmental [and] social concerns.”

Mexico enforces stringent regulations with regard to the storage and reuse of produced, i.e. frack, water in E&P operations. The country’s Agencia de Seguridad, Energía y Ambiente (ASEA), the environmental protection department for the oil and gas […]


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