Welcome to the April edition of Energy Panorama and our countdown to the XXVIII La Jolla Conference on May 22-23.
We are pleased to feature reports based upon discussions at our Mexico and Argentina Roundtables in February and March.
The Argentina report is part one from our two-day event and focuses on the challenges that companies face in developing Vaca Muerta, one of the world’s biggest shale plays and the first to come into large-scale production outside North America. Indeed, the resources are so vast that the production growth has turned around more than a decade of dwindling oil and natural gas output, and led to bright forecasts. But as the discussions at the roundtable underscored and are encapsulated in our report, Argentina’s notorious economic and financial volatility have stunted growth for decades. And the country is hurtling toward a presidential election in October.
Our discussions in Mexico and subsequent Roundtable report focused on an assessment of the Lopez Obrador government’s vision and outlook for energy self-sufficiency and the role for oil & gas and electricity. The Roundtable was timed to coincide with 100-day mark for the government, a useful marker to take stock of the policy proposals and implementation strategies of the new administration.
Given the timing of the event, a great deal of attention was placed on the government’s effort aimed at reducing theft and illegal taps, the so-called huachicoleo. Secretary of Safety and Citizen Security Alfonso Durazo offered closing keynote remarks and an update on the gains the government had made to address the issue of theft and losses.
Discussions also focused on a critical challenge facing the new government: recovering Mexico’s declining oil production as well as how to manage the dramatic transformation of the electric sector and cost-competitive marketplace that each day is incorporating more megawatts of clean power.
Indeed, one of the most important outcomes was the discussion of how to advance expansion of the electric sector and a possible mechanism for long term power auctions under the current market rules. Our non-resident fellow, Leonardo Beltran, synthesized the idea into an op-ed published in Reforma; the link can be found below.
As the calendar turns to May be sure to make plans to join us in La Jolla for the XXVIII La Jolla Conference on May 22-23. But make sure you arrive the afternoon of May 21st to take full advantage of the activities we have organized. And don’t forget to leave your ties at home!
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