Mexico’s oil and natural gas fields are so near but yet so far from the United States, where the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling revolution have turned it into a global behemoth. Now Mexico stands poised as an unconventional threat as well.
The Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, in the cradle of the unconventional fields, extends into the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. But while the small companies that were the guerrilla fighters of the revolution continue to buzz the formation in Texas with drilling activity, the Tamaulipas side is eerily silent.Mexico’s state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) drilled about 20 wells a few years ago, but without apparently being unable to master the fracking/horizontal drilling technology.
This time round, with the instruments of the 2013-14 energy reform under their belt, the Mexican energy authorities have announced the nation’s first upstream auction of unconventional resources in the wake of a government-sponsored forum in the border city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas.