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Texas to share shale strategies with Mexico

Mexico aims to tap into shale basins near the southern U.S. border.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Texas to share shale strategies with Mexico
Mexican delegates meet with Texas energy officials to review best practices for shale exploration and production. Photo courtesy of the Railroad Commission of Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Texas energy officials said they were offering advice to their Mexican counterparts on how best to create the necessary culture for potential shale exploration.

Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick met representatives from the Mexican Energy and Finance Ministries to review best practices and regulations governing the state's shale industry. The Mexican government is reviewing the terms of an upcoming auction for shale reserves in the Burgos basin located near the shared border with Texas.

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"We have been a resource for Mexico since their energy reform process began, and as Mexico initiates shale exploration and production, we welcome greater cross-border cooperation, collaboration and regional success," Craddick said in a statement.

Mexican shale gas reserves are estimated at around 545 trillion cubic feet, which puts it in the top 10 in the world in technically recoverable reserves. Petróleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, started a fledgling shale exploration campaign in the Burgos basin just south of the U.S. border last year.

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The Eagle Ford shale reserve area straddles the border with Mexico, where it's known as the Boquillas formation. Technically recoverable reserves on the Mexican side of the border are estimated around 340 trillion cubic feet of gas and 6.3 billion barrels of oil.

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Lower crude oil prices may dim Mexico's prospects. A U.S. report last year suggested lower spending in a depressed energy market could mean lower output from the Eagle Ford shale basin in Texas. The Dallas Federal Reserve said earlier this month drilling declined in Texas shale.

As part of a sweeping overhaul of the nation's energy sector, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto opened the country up to private investors after more than 70 years under a monopoly controlled by Pemex.

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San Antonio hosts the two-day Mexican shale summit, set to begin Feb. 17.

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