Ohio Analyst Ponders Mexico's Reforms And U.S. Energy Sector

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Last month, Mexico’s president championed a constitutional amendment that would open up its energy sector to private investors. This would allow billions of dollars to be invested in Mexico’s vast reserves of crude oil and shale gas, by energy titans like ExxonMobil and BP.

The prospect intrigues Jim Samuel. He’s founder of Capitol Integrity Group in Columbus, and a founding partner of the Ohio Shale Consortium.

“This is a step in creating an energy sector for the 21st century for Mexico,” he says.

In a recent commentary written for Crain’s Cleveland Business, Samuel says Mexico is a “known quantity” with a relatively stable government and relatively lax environmental controls.

“From a long-term perspective, looking at national public policy, Mexico is one that looks like they are moving to open up their markets, and coupled with fact that they’ve an easier business climate, regulatory wise, it’s an area that you could see capital move.”

Samuel is an opponent of enacting strict federal regulations – over that of states – which he says could pinch efforts to further fuel investment and development in the U.S.

“It’s possible you could see companies move some of their capital and attention towards Mexico.”

Meanwhile, supporters of federal regulation say it’ll keep energy development in compliance with important environmental laws.

Mexico’s constitutional reforms are expected to pass by year’s end. The country has the fourth largest shale gas reserves in the world.

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