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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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Is Mexico Ready For Life Without Its Sugar Daddy?

Is Mexico Ready For Life Without Its Sugar Daddy?

The autopsy has already begun.

As the world’s attention is transfixed by every new development in Chapo Guzman’s latest audacious prison break, something much more important – and potentially more dangerous – is happening in Mexico. Yesterday the country held its first auction of offshore oil leases, bringing to an end 77 long years of state control over energy.

Until yesterday, Petróleos Mexicanos, A.K.A. Pemex, the state oil company, ran all oil and gas production in Mexico. But that has now changed. With it a new age has begun, one in which Mexico’s energy sector will finally get the funds it needs to extract the vast hydrocarbon resources it has at its disposal. It will also get the technology it needs for deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as private companies, in particular from the US and the UK, provide essential know-how and best practices. In short, it is a perfect win-win for all concerned…

Or at least it was supposed to be, until the bottom fell out of the global oil markets. Now the stagnant market is overwhelmingly in the buyer’s favor and yesterday, as Bloomberg reports, the buyers weren’t interested in buying:

Mexico’s first auction of offshore oil leases fell short of the country’s expectations as several majors decided not to participate.

Only two of the 14 shallow-water blocks released on Wednesday received qualifying bids. Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Total SA passed on the country’s sale of territory in the Gulf of Mexico, 77 years after the country nationalized crude. The 14 percent success rate was less than half the 30 percent to 50 percent goal that the government said would be its minimum for judging the event a success.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mexico’s Pemex Plagued By Deadly Offshore Explosions and Major Pipeline Spills

Mexico’s Pemex Plagued By Deadly Offshore Explosions and Major Pipeline Spills

It’s been a disastrous year for Pemex, the state-owned Mexican oil company at the center of the nation’s landmark energy reforms.

In just over a month, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) starred in three tragic incidents, two fatal.

First was a deadly explosion aboard a Pemex offshore oil processing platform, which killed at least four, injured 16, and—despite the company’s comments to the contrary—looks to have spilled a miles-long plume of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. A mere 15 days later, a spill from a Pemex pipeline in the state of Tabasco fouled three rivers and temporarily left half a million people without access to drinking water. Fast forward three weeks, and another accident on an offshore rig killed two workers.

These incidents, argues Gustavo Ampugnani, lead energy and climate campaigner for Greenpeace Mexico, foreshadow worsening oil- and gas-related disasters as the country’s massive energy reforms open Mexico’s vast fossil fuel reserves up to international companies that are even less regulated and scrutinized than State-owned Pemex.

Explosion in the Gulf

On April 1st, an explosion rocked the company’s Abkatun-A Permanente platform, engulfing the rig in flames. The massive fireball and subsequent blaze sent hundreds of Pemex contractors into the sea. Nearly two months later, we know that four workers were killed, at least 16 were injured, and three are still missing, now presumed dead. Survivors described a terrifying scene, as crew members “jumped into the sea out of desperation and panic.”

Roger Arias Sanchez, an employee of Pemex contractor Cotemar, told the Associated Press that, “there was nothing you could do but run.”

With the 5-year anniversary of the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf just behind us, Pemex and the Mexican government quickly clamped down communications about the disaster in the oil-rich Campeche Sound shallow water offshore region, offering optimistic, blue sky commentary about the severity of the incident, and the extent of any potential


…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Canadian Oil Surge to U.S. Gulf Puts Mexico on Defensive – Bloomberg

Canadian Oil Surge to U.S. Gulf Puts Mexico on Defensive – Bloomberg.

A price war is brewing between Canadaand Latin America over who will satisfy U.S. Gulf Coast refiners’ hunger for heavy oil.

The new Seaway Twin pipeline will almost double the amount of heavy Canadian crude coming to Gulf terminals and plants to about 400,000 barrels a day starting in January, according to Calgary-based ARC Financial Corp. The shipments are growing even without the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been delayed for six years because of environmental opposition.

The Canadian supply will square off against crudes from Mexico and Venezuela that have traditionally fed refineries along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. State-owned Petroleos Mexicanos widened its discount for U.S. buyers in December by the most since August 2013. Valero Energy Corp. and Marathon Petroleum Corp., which invested in special equipment to refine heavy crude, stand to gain the most from the Canadian supply.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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