BP has been running ads in the Wall Street Journal and other financial outlets, complaining that’s it’s being robbed by the gold-diggers living on the Gulf of Mexico (and their legal teams) who are seeking unwarranted compensation for its massive oil spill. That’s a questionable position.
Bigger gains (headaches) lie ahead for the folks in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, as Petroleos Mexicanos is eager to make its mark in U.S. waters.
The move follows the decision of recently installed Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto to allow foreign companies to share in the country’s oil profits for the first time in 75 years.
PM or Pemex is Mexico’s coddled state monopoly that lords over the riches of the world’s No. 5 oil producer. It’s better known for cronyism and corruption. The WSJ, on August 19, reported that Pemex has neither faced competition nor ventured far beyond its borders. Its sweet existence is now threatened.
Meanwhile, Mexican oil production has plummeted from a high of 3.4M barrels of oil a decade ago to 2.4M in 2012. That drop occurred despite a quintupling of investment to $20B. Pemex’s performance is hardly a testament to efficiency.
New Pemex CEO Emilio Lozoya is shaking things up. He wants the Mexicans to play with the Big Boys. Despite a lack of savvy in complicated deep-water drilling technique, Lozoya is eager explore and produce shale gas and deep-water oil in the U.S. Yikes!
Pemex’s adventurous coming of age game plan is expected to trigger a gusher of opposition from local communities and environmental groups still smarting over the BP disaster.
The oil company will need a world-class PR campaign to even get its drilling program off the ground. Mexico City will soon be a hotbed of PR as the multinational players seek a piece of the Pemex action. The race is on.