Mexico’s energy revolution could prove to be a bitter pill for the vast rump of the Mexican population, who stand to lose out on billions of dollars of annual state funds provided by the newly privatized but financially crippled oil company Pemex.
But where there are losers, there are inevitably winners. In this case the biggest beneficiaries will be some of the world’s largest oil and gas majors — particularly those in the U.S. — and well-connected local politicians. Chief among them is former Mexican President Vicente Fox Quesada, whose private equity firm Energy and Infrastructure Mexico (EIM) has just signed a joint venture with Aubrey McClendon, former CEO of natural gas giant Chesapeake Energy and current CEO of American Energy Partners (AEP).
A Well-Oiled Revolving Door
The partnership’s main purpose, according to Sin Embargo, is to exploit the vast exploration and development opportunities opened up by Mexico’s newly privatized and liberalized energy sector.
“This is a significant vote of confidence in the Energy Reform program championed by current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, and in the myriad possibilities offered by Mexico’s unconventional resources,” hailed a joint press release. Those resources include Mexico’s side of the Eagle Ford Shale basin.
EIM Capital’s own website admits, with seemingly not even a hint of shame, that the company was “founded in anticipation of Mexico’s historic Constitutional (Energy) Reform of 2013,” a reform for which Fox himself helped pave the way during his six-year presidential mandate (2000-2006), as recently confirmed by a 2005 State Department diplomatic cable about Fox’s first visit to Alberta recently leaked by Wikileaks:
“[T]he Mexican Trade Consul in Calgary…[said] there continues to be much interest in investing in Mexico’s energy sector… The Trade Consul said it is ‘painful‘ to let Mexico’s resources sit in the ground.”
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