Low oil prices hamper Mexico’s deregulation, limit potential Cuban development ///

Mexico is the world’s 10th largest oil producer and has some of the largest reserves in the Western Hemisphere. Pemex, which for 76 years had a constitutionally mandated monopoly, lacks the funds and technology to exploit deepwater oil. The monopoly over oil production, refining and commercialization was scrapped by the Mexican Congress last year. Jorge R. Piñon, a Cuban-American energy analyst at the University of Texas and a former Amoco executive, told World Oil that plummeting oil prices are severely hampering the deregulation process. “Mexico’s upstream development projects, particularly in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, are long-term projects that would take between three and seven years to monetize,” Piñon said. “Therefore, the question for investors is not where the price of oil is today, but where is the price of oil going to be five to seven years from now?”

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