Mexico’s oil and gas sector flowing with opportunities

20 Mar 2017

Sweeping reform of Mexico’s energy sector is creating new business opportunities for Australian companies as the country’s oil and gas industry opens up to foreign investment for the first time since 1938.

International firms can now access exploration and production contract models – including licences, production-sharing, profit-sharing, and service contracts – that were previously off limits.

Australian companies were among the first to benefit from the reforms. The most notable is BHP Billiton, which won the right to develop the Trion oil field alongside Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil conglomerate. Located off the Gulf of Mexico, the Trion block is estimated to contain 485 million barrels of recoverable oil reserves.

‘Mexico is set to seize the momentum created by the energy reforms,’ said Chris Rodwell, Austrade’s Trade Commissioner in Mexico. ‘There is optimism the BHP-Pemex partnership will trigger a spate of additional investments across the energy supply chain.

‘That’s notwithstanding a pipeline of opportunities in areas such as high-voltage energy generation, rail, technology infrastructure and the continued build-up of manufacturing capacity.’

Austrade is leading an oil and gas mission to Mexico in early May, enabling Australian firms to explore upstream opportunities in deep-water oil and gas, and conventional and unconventional resources, including shale.

There are also midstream opportunities to develop the necessary pipeline, liquefaction and port facilities needed to bring the new products to market, and downstream opportunities to refine and market finished products.

Mexico is also looking for Australian education and skills institutions to provide skills gap analysis, program creation, teaching training and general education services.

‘Australia’s experience in large-scale oil and gas projects, particularly technical deep-water projects, will be highly valued in Mexico,’ says Rodwell. ‘Our strong capabilities in mining equipment, technology and services, and safety and environmental management will also be sought after.

‘The demand for oil and gas technology, services and education means now is the time for Australian companies to enter the Mexican market.’

Rodwell said that with its solid fundamentals and prudent fiscal and macroeconomic management, Mexico is well on its way to becoming a top 10 economy within the decade.

‘It’s time for Australia to recognise the rising economic power of Mexico and build a much deeper, more extensive trading relationship with a market that will have a seat at the top table of global economies for decades to come,’ he said.

Register for the Mexico: Oil and gas mission in May 2017.

Find out more about oil and gas opportunities in Mexico.