February 2019

February 2019

The Institute of the Americas Energy & Sustainability program wrapped up February and kicked off March in Mexico City. Our Roundtable counted two days of debate and discussion focused on the energy agenda for the new administration, understanding self-sufficiency goals, how to define energy security and the state of the country’s energy sector as the Lopez Obrador administration reaches the 100-day milestone.

An update on the efforts to combat fuel theft was the topic of a closing keynote address by Alfonso Durazo, Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection. We also convened a unique half-day dedicated to workforce development and talent creation for Mexico’s energy sector together with our partner ANUIES, Mexico’s association of universities and higher learning institutions. Event photo gallery and presentations are available below. An event report and policy paper will be published in late March.

Our webinar series this month also focused on Mexico and examined natural gas. The webinar was a follow-up to a two-part report series that we published by John McNeece and his assessment of the burgeoning US-Mexico natural gas trade and risks associated with the spike in imports into Mexico from US gas fields and an ever-growing pipeline infrastructure footprint. He was joined by Veronica Irastorza for the webinar.

Below we also include IOA Board Member and former BP Mexico chief Chris Sladen’s latest ANZMEX Energy Matters column and his views on the outlook for oil production in Mexico.

As Colombia launched its first major renewable energy auction at the end of February, we weighed in on the key issues for possible bidders and the outlook for the tender.

Our podcast series turned to Venezuela and the unfolding political developments in the country as Juan Guaido, the leader of the national assembly, declared himself interim president and was quickly recognized by a long list of countries in the hemisphere. We spoke to UCSD Distinguished Professor of Political Science David Mares for his insights and views.

At the end of March, we host our annual Argentina Energy Roundtable in Buenos Aires. This year’s event will be divided into two days with oil and gas the focus on March 27, particularly the advances in the country’s unconventional resource development and the future of natural gas including possibilities for moving beyond regional natural gas exports to LNG. Discussion of developments around lithium and energy transition, the RenovAr program and mobility trends will comprise the agenda for the March 28 sessions. The election year backdrop will also figure prominently.

Mexico Energy Roundtable


Photo Gallery

Opinion & Analysis

Will Companies Flock to Colombia’s Renewables Tender?

Energy matters – will oil production go up, or down?


Mexico Natural Gas Outlook 2019


Venezuela’s Political Outlook: A conversation with David Mares

In the News

Participa Rector de la UABCS en foro nacional energético

Despite Presidents’ Saber-Rattling, U.S. NatGas Exports to Mexico Expected to Continue

January 2019

January 2019

Happy New Year and welcome to the first installment of Energy Panorama for 2019.

We are very pleased to share this month’s featured report LNG and the Panama Canal: Should Another Expansion Already Be on the Drawing Board? The report was prepared during the fall 2018 quarter as part of a research project by Melisa Uzcategui-Ebner, Timona Ghosh, and Edgar Kelly-Garcia, graduate students at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy & Strategy (GPS).

The Panama Canal’s third set of locks opened in June 2016. By the end of the canal’s fiscal year last September, LNG transits had contributed significantly to a record-setting year of 442.1 million tons crossing its waters. Beyond an assessment of the current state of LNG usage in the canal, the report analyzes a series of elements associated with the possibility of another expansion using the third set of locks as a reference. Where the Panama Canal fits in the larger geopolitical outlook could be greatly determined by its future expansion, how such an additional expansion is financed and if LNG continues to grow in importance for the canal’s operations and financial well-being.

Our webinar series kicked off the year with Mexico Oil Outlook 2019 and a new format with a virtual panel. It was a lively discussion and debate with John Padilla, Managing Director, IPD Latin America and Gonzalo Monroy, Managing Director, GMEC with insights and analysis on the issues of oil production, refining, fuels infrastructure and investment as the new year unfolds in Mexico.

Our podcast series delved into fuels and finance in Mexico in an interview with Marco Cota, CEO of Talanza Energy.

Following up on our Roundtable in Bogota last year and podcast with energy ministry officials in December, we published an analysis of the outlook for renewable energy in Colombia as the first auction takes place. We also contributed our insights to understanding the changes in Argentina’s energy secretariat as the new year arrived.

Our webinar series continues on February 6 with Mexico: Natural Gas Outlook 2019. John McNeece, the author of a two-part analysis of US-Mexico natural gas trade will present his research and particularly the risks to Mexico presented by its growing reliance on imports from the US, and how those risks may be mitigated. He will be joined by Veronica Irastorza, Associate Director at NERA Economic Consulting in Mexico City.

We head to Mexico City for our first Roundtable of the year on February 28/March 1 and Buenos Aires on March 27-28 for our annual Energy Roundtable.


LNG and the Panama Canal: Should Another Expansion Already Be on the Drawing Board?

Opinion & Analysis

Will Colombia’s renewable energy auction set a new bar for the market?

How Are Politics Influencing Energy Policy in Argentina?


Mexico Oil Outlook 2019


Fuels and Finance in Mexico

In the News

Expertos prevén que sólo con apoyo de IP se alcanzaría meta petrolera

December 2018

December 2018

Season’s greetings from La Jolla! We are pleased to share the latest installment of Energy Panorama for your holiday reading pleasure.

We concluded the year with our annual program in collaboration with the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, DC and a discussion and panel at the National Press Club. This year’s event focused on the changes in the US Congress and what it may entail for US-Latin American energy issues but particularly the new USMCA trade agreement and the broader US-Mexico bilateral relationship. Below are links to an event summary and highlight video.

As part of our podcast series and a follow-up to our Colombia Energy Roundtable, we spoke with Julia Gutierrez in the Ministry of Mines and Energy for an update and insights on Colombia’s first renewable energy auction.

We will also take advantage of our final edition of the year to look back and share selected reports, podcasts and webinars that we produced this year, as well as insights from our diverse programming across the hemisphere. Consider it a curated compendium of the 2018 IOA Energy & Sustainability Program.

We look forward to seeing you in 2019 and we wish you and yours a joyous and peaceful holiday season!

Washington, DC Event Summary

USMCA and Latin American Energy Diplomacy Under a New US Congress

Washington, DC Event Video

What does the new US Congress mean for Latin America and energy?


Colombia’s Renewable Energy Auction

Select Reports from 2018

Mexico’s Growing Reliance on US Natural Gas: Part I – Seizing Synergies

Mexico’s Growing Reliance on US Natural Gas: Part II – Assessing Risks

Transición Energética en Centroamérica

Brazil’s Oil & Gas Industry Capacity Building: Lessons Learned from the PRH-ANP Human Resources Program

ENRE Visit to California Summary Report

XXVII La Jolla Energy Conference – Summary Report and Panel Notes

Taking Stock of the Macri Energy Reform Agenda: Tariffs and Subsidy Reduction

Towards an Electric Vehicle Future? An Analysis of the State of EV’s in Lima, Peru

With Huge Shale and Renewable Resources, Export Potential Gains in Argentina

Select Videos from 2018

La Jolla Conference

AMLO, Mexico and Energy

Interview with Aldo Flores Quiroga, Deputy Secretary for Hydrocarbons of Mexico

Interview with Elizabeth Urbanas, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia and the Americas, United States Department of Energy

Interview with Raphael Moura, Upstream Advisor to the Board of Directors, Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP)

Interview with Lucas Aristizabal, Senior Director, Corporate Ratings, Fitch Ratings

Select Opinion & Analysis from 2018

Mexico’s New Energy Reform (Chapters 2 & 4)

Will Brazil’s New President Shake Up the Energy Sector?

El caso de negocio para apoyar consultas previas que sean libres e informadas

Will Coal Soon Be History in Latin America?

Select Podcasts from 2018

Energy and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s Inaugural Address

Energy storage and its implications, an interview with John Jung, CEO of Greensmith Energy

Successful solar distributed generation markets – transparency and certainty

Argentina Shakes Up Energy Ministry

Top 4 2018 Energy Trends

Select Webinars from 2018

Understanding Compliance Risks in Mexico’s Energy Sector

CFE’s Transformation and the Mexican Electric Market

Ecuador’s Energy Sector Reorientation

Long-Term Regulatory Certainty in Mexico

Climate Resilience in the Caribbean: Building the Business Case

November 2018

November 2018

Our featured report, Mexico’s Growing Reliance on US Natural Gas, is the second part of an analysis by our colleague John McNeece, a fellow at the Center for US-Mexican Studies. In Part II he reviews the booming cross border trade in natural gas, contemplates the risks to Mexico presented by its growing reliance on imports from the United States, and how those risks may be mitigated.

The change in government in Mexico was a key theme for our webinar and podcast series and as we convened discussions of the incoming Lopez Obrador administration’s outlook for the energy sector. Below are links to recordings of this month’s webinar and podcast series, as well as highlights from our panel hosted at the Institute of the Americas at the end of the month and a panel at the University of San Diego.

Our analysis of the 2013-14 energy reform measures in Mexico were featured as part of a book published by the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center. Jeremy Martin wrote one chapter and co-wrote another and participated in the book launch event in Mexico City on November 28. A link to the English and Spanish versions are available below.

The political transition in Mexico is not the only one occurring as Brazil prepares to welcome a new president in January. Our view on what the Bolsonaro government signifies for the nation’s energy sector was published this month in the Inter-American Dialogue’s Energy Advisor.

We were also delighted to convene Clean Energy in the Californias: SB 100, Electrifying Everything & Cross Border Implications, a roundtable aimed at facilitating cross border collaboration. We will continue our support of dialogue between energy stakeholders in California and Baja California as we head into 2019 and possible formalized cooperation between the two state governments.

Additionally, the formal signature of the USMCA trade accord increases focus on how each country’s legislature will respond. Indeed, we look forward to our program on December 11 in Washington, DC and discussion of the new Congress in the US and what it will mean for Latin American relations and particularly energy.


Mexico’s Growing Reliance on US Natural Gas: Part II – Assessing Risks


AMLO, Mexico and Energy (Oil Clip – Full Video)

Mexico’s Transition: What to Expect from Mexico’s Next President?

Opinion & Analysis

Mexico’s New Energy Reform (Chapters 2 & 4)

La nueva reforma energética de México

Will Brazil’s New President Shake Up the Energy Sector?


Energy and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s Inaugural Address


Understanding Compliance Risks in Mexico’s Energy Sector

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