Archive for the ‘oil’ Category

Mexico: Fracking time

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Along Mexico’s oil frontier, a fracking divide
After the passage of a landmark energy bill, a new mother lode from the south beckons U.S. companies.

Here’s the divide:

The geological marvel known to Texas oilmen as the Eagle Ford Shale Play is buried deep underground, but at night you can see its outline from space in a twinkling arc that sweeps south of San Antonio toward the Rio Grande.

The light radiates from thousands of surface-level gas flares and drilling rigs. It is the glow of one of the most extravagant oil bonanzas in American history, the result of the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Curving south and west, the lights suddenly go black at Mexico’s border, as if there were nothing on the other side.

This is a reflection of politics, not geology. The Eagle Ford shale formation is believed to continue hundreds of miles into Mexico, where it is known as the Burgos Basin. But while more than 5,400 wells have been sunk on the Texas side since 2008, Mexico has attempted fewer than 25.

There’s the Texas oil boom:

The shale boom is the main reason the United States is challenging Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s top oil producer. Texas pumps more than a third of U.S. output, and on its own the state would rank as the world’s ninth-largest oil producer.

The situation in Mexico gets complicated by the Batial-1 well site being in an area controlled by the Zeta drug cartel. All the more reason for the US to strive for full energy independence.

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, March 31st, 2014

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentina Is Joined In The Supreme Court By The Coalition Of Weasels

Why Argentina Is Struggling to Find Lifelines

Argentina Moves to Trim Subsidies
Argentina will cut expensive natural-gas and water subsidies this year as it struggles with growing deficits that have been financed through inflation-fueling money printing.

BARBADOS
US Congress honours T&T and Barbados born judges

BOLIVIA
Bolivia clashes over anti-drugs base
Dozens of people in Bolivia clash with police in a protest against the construction of a military anti-drugs base in a coca-growing area

CHILE
Chile’s Codelco 2013 profit halves

COLOMBIA
Colombia current account deficit ends 2013 at 3.4 percent, “as lower prices for some key exports contributed to the near halving of the Andean nation’s trade surplus.”

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica’s two top political parties agree to runoff presidential debate, with or without candidates

In lieu of a candidate to support, PLN lawmaker Luis Villanueva said the campaign was about “ideas, programs and the emphasis” of each party.

CUBA
Azuuuucar !!! Chong Chon Gang returns for another load

Ukraine Angle to Cuba’s “Purchase” of Russian Antonov Planes

Tread carefully in Cuba’s ‘open’ economy: Experts

ECUADOR
Ecuador President Rafael Correa to Speak at Harvard
Has been criticized for anti-American rhetoric, crackdown on press freedoms

Correa has long pursued a multi-billion dollar judgment against oil company Chevron for alleged pollution that occurred in Ecuador’s Lago Agrio region. A U.S. federal judge ruled earlier this month that the judgment could not be enforced in America because the plaintiffs’ attorneys bribed a judge in Ecuador, ghostwrote purportedly neutral scientific studies, and conspired to break the law.

Correa in December dissolved a nongovernment organization protesting state oil drilling in the Amazon. He previously called the Free Beacon“corrupt” for reporting on the Chevron case.

Correa has also emulated Chavez by frequently decrying the alleged “imperial” influence of the United States in Latin America. He has expelled an American ambassador, shut down a joint U.S. anti-drug base, and grantedasylum to WikiLeaks founder and privacy advocate Julian Assange despiteallegations that Correa’s government has spied on reporters.

EL SALVADOR
El Salvador opposition admits defeat
El Salvador’s Arena party finally accepts the defeat of its candidate to former rebel leader Salvador Sanchez Ceren in a tight vote earlier this month.

JAMAICA
The Petrocaribe Trap

LATIN AMERICA
Life after the commodity boom
Instead of the crises of the past, mediocre growth is the big risk—unless productivity rises

As Obama Dismisses Russia As “Regional,” It Expands Its Reach

Latin Leftists with Blood on Their Hands

MEXICO
Stranded: In One Week Authorities Found 370 Abandoned Immigrant Children Wandering Around In Mexico

Mexico Intercepts 63 Guatemalans Headed for U.S.

OIL
Here Comes $75 Oil
Lower energy costs will have a salutary effect on the U.S. economy. Not so Russia, where oil provides 50% of government income.

PANAMA
Crimea: The Panama precedent

PARAGUAY
Cocaine Distribution Hub Dismantled in Paraguay

PERU
Peru Received $2.7 Billion in Remittances During 2013

PUERTO RICO
Census Reveals Population Drop Across Puerto Rico by 3%

URUGUAY
Uruguay To Track Pot By Genetic Markers

VENEZUELA
The Obama Administration seems indifferent to the crisis in Venezuela. Why?

US Senator Menendez Calls for International Condemnation of Venezuela

Lawsuit filed in Miami accuses Venezuela top official, Diosdado Cabello, of bribery
A lawsuit filed in Miami accuses the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly of receiving at least $50 million in bribes from a company doing business in that country.

Venezuelan government takes on crossword writers in protest crackdown
After expelling an opposition parliamentarian and arresting three air-force generals, the Venezuelan government has now taken aim at a new enemy: crosswords

The week’s posts and podcast:
Venezuela: How Hugo Chávez turned the country over to Cuba

Brazil: We shall soon be hearing about the “excellent healthcare”

Venezuela: more censorship, in “one of the most democratic nations on Earth”

#ThanksLarry: In praise of Larry Kudlow

The Isaías, on @Instapundit’s post

#SOSVenezuela: Marco Rubio’s speech

Mexico: Navigators helping people sign up for Obamacare regardless of citizenship

Mexico’s Radio Tecnico: How The Zetas Cartel Took Over Mexico With Walkie-Talkies

Venezuela: Slingshots vs tanks

En español: Terapia intensiva #201

Venezuela: Leopoldo López, Hun School alumnus

Uruguay: Gitmo releases will be free to leave

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
No, Joe, illegals are not citizens

Book review – Eyes On Target: Inside Stories from the Brotherhood of the U.S. Navy SEALs

The WaPo: Two newspapers in one!

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Newspaper 1, headline:
The biggest lease holder in Canada’s oil sands isn’t Exxon Mobil or Chevron. It’s the Koch brothers.

Newspaper 2, same article, 5th paragraph:

The link between Koch and Keystone XL is, however, indirect at best. Koch’s oil production in northern Alberta is “negligible,” according to industry sources and quarterly publications of the provincial government. Moreover, Koch has not reserved any space in the Keystone XL pipeline, a process that usually takes place before a pipeline is built. The pipeline also does not run anywhere near Koch’s refining facilities. And TransCanada, owner of the Keystone routes, says Koch is not expected to be one of the pipeline’s customers.

John Hinderaker:

I would add this, from Wikipedia: the Athabasca Oil Sands planned production through 2024. Koch isn’t even on the list. Zero. Nada

But, hey, the WaPo’s sources are the far-left International Forum on Globalization via some guy who was arrested during the anti-WTO demonstrations in Seattle back in November 1999, and the reporter is married to Andrew Light, who writes on climate policy for the Center for American Progress.

I couldn’t make up this stuff if I tried.

Postscript:

A proposed pipeline to transport Canadian crude from oil sands in Alberta to U.S. refining centers could further restrict Venezuela’s access to profitable export markets, according to Tissot Associates.

UPDATE:
Washington Post Writers Respond to Powerline’s Criticism


Mexico: Obama arrives for summit

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Obama Heads to Mexico Amigos Meeting Strained by Keystone

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s frustration with U.S. President Barack Obama’s failure to approve the Keystone XL pipeline may make this installment of the North America summit, known as the “Three Amigos,” the frostiest since the annual meetings began almost a decade ago.

At the one-day meeting tomorrow in Toluca, Mexico, with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Harper, Obama is bringing an agenda focused on trade, education, border security and stopping drug trafficking. Yet 20 years after the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect, the U.S. and Canada are at loggerheads over a $5.4 billion collaboration that would carry oil south from the thick sands of Alberta to American refineries along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana.

Hey, Canada has the oil, and will sell it.

Obama arrives in Mexico for summit that may show NAFTA strains

Rather than re-debate NAFTA, Obama is expected to press Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to speak with one voice as they negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed trade bloc that includes 12 countries around the Pacific Rim.

Comment from prior post:

In the 1980′s Reagan had Saudi Arabia increase oil production to drop the price and hurt the USSR’s cash cow. Why can’t we allow Keystone XL to be completed to kill Venezuela’s cash cow? Canadian heavy blend and Venezuelan crudes are all the same type of crude oil which are used by several very major Gulf Coast refineries. Other crude oils cannot economically replace them.

Indeed!

The year-end Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 30th, 2013

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Nine-year-old US boy climbs Aconcagua peak in Argentina
A nine-year-old boy from the United States has become the youngest person to reach the summit of Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas.

BRAZIL
Brazil jail fights kill 59 in 2013
At least 59 inmates have been killed in a single northern Brazilian prison this year
; the town is Pedrinhas.

Smart Diplomacy: Boeing’s Super Hornet Banned From Brazil’s Fighter Sales Because of Fury Over NSA Scandal

Brazil Boosts Levy On Overseas Transactions
Brazil is raising taxes on more transactions its residents make abroad, as the country tries to increase government revenue and reduce the outflow of dollars.

ICYMI, Smart Diplomacy: Brazilian President complains to Obama about “a grave violation of human rights” and “especially of disrespect to national sovereignty

CHILE
Statistics in Chile
No consensus

COLOMBIA
Colombia`s year of peace

Colombian military kills 10 Farc rebels in bombing raid
The Colombian military says it has killed at least 10 members of the left-wing Farc rebel group in an operation in central Meta province.

CUBA
The Free Alan Gross website.

Magazine Celebrates Mass Murderer Che

Man who shouted “Down with communism!” during pope’s visit to Cuba is now in Chattanooga
Andrés Carrión Says security agents threatened to kill him, fired his wife, forced them out of their home and sent two snitches to get close to him.

ECUADOR
Ecuador Faces Legal Quandary over Intra-Indigenous Violence

HONDURAS
Honduran High Court Rejects Challenge to Presidential Vote

JAMAICA
Police in Jamaica probe slaying of New York teen

MEXICO
Observations and Questions as NAFTA Reaches 20 Years of Age

Mexico to Tax Luxury Item: Pet Food
Mexico’s pet owners are bracing for a new tax on pet food, which the government recently declared a “luxury item.
A 16% Sales Tax to Kick In as Government Scrounges for Revenue

A Civil Servant in Mexico Tests U.S. on Asylum

NICARAGUA
A must-read firsthand account from a former NGO worker: 32 years after the revolution Reagan is right

PERU
The Dark Side of El Dorado: Illegal Gold Mining In Peru Generating More Money Than Drug Trafficking (emphasis added)

In fact, so much gold has been produced by the “informal” (or “illegal’) mining sector in Peru – involving some 40,000 miners who have tried to scrape whatever they can in abandoned mines around the country, from the jungle province of Puerto Maldonado to the deserted landscape of Ica – that gold has become more lucrative than cocaine trafficking (of which Peru is the largest exporter, having surpassed Colombia in 2012, according to the United Nations).

PUERTO RICO
PENSION WARS
Pension Update: Puerto Rico Up, San Jose Down
It’s been an up-and-down week for public pensions. In San Jose, a judge struck down a significant piece of the city’s pension reform plan, setting the stage for a big ballot fight next year. In Puerto Rico, on the other hand, the Senate finally passed a measure to put the Teachers Pesion Fund on solid footing.

With A Downgrade On Debt Imminent, Puerto Rico Needs A Visit From Santa Claus

TURKS & CAICOS
Turks and Caicos Islands: 18 Believed to Be Migrants From Haiti Drown
Eighteen people believed to be migrants from Haiti died Wednesday when their overloaded sailboat overturned as it was being escorted to shore in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

URUGUAY
Uruguayan Navy Seizes Over 1 Ton of Cocaine

USA
‘Military-Style’ Raid on California Power Station Spooks U.S.

The Most Underreported Foreign News Stories of 2013

The Most Underreported Domestic News Stories of 2013

VENEZUELA
Caracas Says It Received China Credits
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said China has given his country $5 billion in credits under a deal reached in September.
Money Pledged in September to Be Used for Several Purposes

PDVSA awards crude tender to U.S. refiner at wide discounts-trade, via Kermit, wjo points out,

A decade or so ago Venezuelan crude was sold on longterm contracts at about $10 per barrel discount from the two widget fiction crudes, WTI & Brent. Looks like it is now $20 discount and crude production has declined quite a bit.

What Will Happen In Venezuela In 2014?

2013 in review: the year we realized that the Venezuelan electorate is wretched and vile

Muere Hugo Chávez, nace el chavismo
Con o sin el expresidente, el chavismo es una plataforma viable, y es la preferida por los venezolanos. De eso ya no queda duda

ICYMI, The Venezuelan State’s Occupy “Movement”: The Victory of Socialism!

The week’s posts:
Cuba: Institutionalized racism

Argentina: Rocket up, power out

Ecuador: Cléver Jiménez, accused of hacking, gets raided. Assange & Snowden could not be reached for comment.

Mexico showed the way in 2013

Argentina: 60 wounded by piranha attack

Cuba: Doctors to earn $40 a month

Nicaragua: Paul Berman writes to de Blasio

Reformed dictators don’t exist

At Da Tech Guy: Fausta’s Puerto Rican Christmas menu


Mexico: Will fracking save the oil industry?

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Monica Showalter lays out a strong case to Credit The Fracking Revolution For Mexico’s Oil Reforms That Make North America The World’s Energy Superpower

Mexico’s reversal didn’t come a moment too soon. Since 2006, its energy production has fallen sharply from underinvestment due to a bad combination of zero foreign investment, which it shut out in 1938, and the state’s habit of draining Pemex for cash to finance a third of its own budget.
The low production is evident in its oil exports to the U.S., which have fallen from nearly 2 million barrels of crude a day in 2006 to less than 1 million in 2013. As U.S. oil rigs light up the Gulf of Mexico each night, the crude-rich Mexican side stays as dark as North Korea.
Mexico’s 75 years of poor policy created a lost opportunity. Oil had become a smaller and less significant part of its economy even as the technical advances of fracking were making the U.S. and Canada the new Saudi Arabia. But it might be able to catch up, as global demand, according to ExxonMobil’s 2014 energy outlook, is forecast to grow 35% by 2040.

Now the question remains what the divided house will make of it, and, as Enrique Krauze put it, take “the road to genuine prosperity and democracy.”

UPDATE:
Mexico’s Oil and Gas Sector: Background,
Reform Efforts, and Implications for the
United States


Mexico: Congress to vote on bill ending PEMEX monopoly

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Mexico Energy Bill to End Pemex’s Monopoly on Oil
Bill Aims to Open Energy Sector to Competition, Lift Output

The bill would end the restrictive laws that have kept private companies out of oil and gas production, except for service companies working under contract to Pemex. The changes allow the government to partner with private firms through different kinds of contracts, according to the final draft, sharing with them the risks of exploration activities.

Mexico will allow profit-sharing contracts, where oil firms are paid in cash; production-sharing contracts, where oil barrels are divided between the government and the companies; and licenses, through which the firms take control of oil at the well head, paying royalties and taxes to Mexico. Licenses mimic concessions, although formally concessions will continue to be forbidden.

This would end the 75-year state monopoly. Pemex’s oil production has been in steady decline.

Related:
Enrique Krauze NYT’s op-ed on Mexico’s Theology of Oil.

Venezuela less influential in LatAm, says Oppenheimer

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Andres Oppenheimer: Venezuela losing clout in region.

Here’s why:

In Central America and the Caribbean, Petrocaribe — the Venezuelan institution that provides subsidized oil to friendly countries — has raised from 50 percent to 60 percent the cash payments it demands from member countries and is also raising interest rates on their long-term oil debts.

In early November, Guatemala announced its withdrawal from Petrocaribe, saying that the new payment conditions were no longer attractive.

Not enough money to buy the love.

UPDATE:
Related: Voodoo economics in Cubazuela: Maduro’s Mojo kicks into high gear

Mexico: No more Pact

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

The leftist Partido de la Revolución Democrática (Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD) has pulled out of the Pact for Mexico, creating an acute crisis (link in Spanish), according to Mexican daily El País.

But how much of a crisis is it?

The Pact for Mexico, created in 2012 by then-new president Enrique Peña Nieto’s Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), the PRD, and the Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party, or PAN) ended 15 years of gridlock in the fractious congress,

allowing Mr. Peña’s administration to secure passage of wide-ranging bills on telecommunications, tax increases and education.

Congress is taking up the issue next week. But lawmakers from the PAN and the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, are expected to rewrite the president’s bill to give private oil companies a bigger role in the state energy sector, including contracts that allow them to share oil production. The president’s August initiative called only for sharing the profits from the oil, but not the oil itself.

“If they insist on an energy reform that privatizes Mexico’s oil income, the government is going to generate a situation of enormous social and political instability,” said PRD president Jesús Zambrano in an interview. “We’ll have a very hot Christmas, we’ll launch protests on all fronts.”

Together, the PAN and PRI have the two-thirds majority in Congress required to pass the proposed constitutional changes for the energy overhaul. And the president has already passed most of his major initiatives under the pact.

Mr. Peña Nieto regretted the PRD’s decision to leave the Pact for Mexico, but vowed to press on with reforms.

From the PRI’s point of view,

The ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, is hoping its energy reform will spur faster economic growth, and the departure of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) from the accord is likely to push the debate closer to a more business-friendly proposal backed by the center-right.

The Senate is expected to vote on the political overhaul as early as Tuesday, with a vote on the energy bill soon to follow.


Ecuador: Oil bidders not quite chomping at the bit

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Imagine an oil auction were the winners would have to contend with the following:

Ecuador Receives 3 Offers in 11th Oil-Licensing Round
Analysts Say Contract Model Was Obstacle in Attracting Interest in the Auction
.

If you’re surprised that they received three bids (as opposed to none), bear in mind that

China’s Andes Petroleum Co. submitted offers for blocks 79 and 83, while Spain’s Repsol Cuba submitted an offer for block 29.

Repsol Cuba, by definition, is a sucker for punishment.

More on China and Ecuadorian oil at Petroleum World.