HOUSTON, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Opening up the Mexican oil and gas sector has the potential to draw in billions of dollars in new investments, but it won't be easy, an analyst said.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is moving to draw private investors to the state energy sector after more than 70 years of a monopoly controlled by state-run Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex. The reforms could bring in up to $415 billion in investments over the next 20 years as the country establishes links to the rest of the world.
Eric Eyberg, director of a Latin American program at consultant group Wood Mackenzie, said Pemex especially could draw in new cash as it looks for partnerships for pipelines and other energy transit networks.
"Mexico's energy reform is heating up investment activity across all sectors," he said.
Pemex in September made two oil discoveries in the deep waters of its territory of the Gulf of Mexico and four in the shallow waters, which could combine for a potential production rate of around 22,000 barrels of oil per day. All told, the discoveries contain, at the high end, an estimated 200 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Mexico aims to produce around 3.5 million bpd by 2025. Pemex is among those companies reassessing its options, however, given the low price for crude oil, and the country as a whole is faced with declining production in part because of the market pressures.
In North America, Pemex started a fledgling shale exploration campaign in the Burgos basin just south of the U.S. border last year. Officials from the Texas energy sector, meanwhile, have collaborated with representatives from the Mexican Energy and Finance Ministries to review best practices and regulations governing the state's shale industry.
Eyberg said those ties will need to be strengthened for Pemex and Texans need to work to get a better understanding of the market aspects of the Mexican pipeline network.