PHARR, RGV – A binational Burgos Basin energy consortium is being created and organizers are looking for members from south Texas and northeastern Mexico to join.
A conference was held at Texas A&M International University in Laredo on Friday to explore the concept and the next step is to meet with United States and Mexico officials in March to confirm the name of group.
In his opening remarks, City of Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz said the recent Mexican energy reforms have potentially created “a huge, economic game changing dynamic for border communities.”
Saenz said the reforms provide South Texas an opportunity to become leaders in the marketing and supply of various goods, materials and services to Mexico, in addition to becoming leaders in the exploration, development, production, transportation and marketing of hydrocarbons from the Burgos Basin.
“In an effort to attract large scale corporate investment, we need to identify ourselves as a unified region that spans nearly 300-350 border miles and which contains and offers multiple resources some of which include: our vehicular/commercial bridges and rail bridges, our seaports, airports, industrial park acreage and manufacturing plants; our customs, warehousing, logistics, transportation and trade experience.” Saenz said.
“Just as importantly, our region offers an abundant understanding and appreciation of the Mexican culture, its language, customs and business traditions.”
In addition to Saenz, leaders attending the TAMIU event included Webb County Judge Tano Tijerina, TAMIU President Ray Keck, TAMIU Provost Pablo Arenaz, Ofelia Garza of CANACINTRA; Javier Solis, secretary of economic development for Nuevo Laredo, Guillermo Dominguez Vargas, of the Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos in Mexico, and Maria Calderón-Porter, assistant vice president for global initiatives at TAMIU.
Calderón-Porter, who is also director of the Binational Center at TAMIU, discussed the idea of setting up a consortium when making a presentation at the 21st Annual U.S.-Mexico Border Energy Forum in Monterrey last October. She said she would like to see binational, bicultural and bilingual energy industry workers transfer seamlessly from the Eagle Ford Shale to the Cuenca de Burgos.
This year, Calderón-Porter is opening the International Energy Institute in Laredo. At the Monterrey conference, Calderón-Porter said TAMIU was taking an inventory of the international regional strengths shared with Mexican universities and tech schools. She said TAMIU, a university structured by the State of Texas to work internationally, had already moved to identify the higher learning institutions in Mexico that have coursework related to the oil and gas industry.
“By consolidating our mutual strengths, we have now embarked in a collaboration to create dual and joint degrees with Mexican universities,” Calderón-Porter said.
She went on to say: “Late in 2015 will mark the start of our TAMIU International Energy Institute. The result of our collaboration will provide TAMIU with diverse and efficient tools for international higher education. We will have research opportunities and an international curriculum that will create international opportunities for a seamless bicultural, bilingual professional workforce that serves our border oil and gas industry.”
Mayor Saenz gave the opening remarks at Friday’s event at TAMIU. Here are those remarks in full:
“Good morning ladies and gentlemen; Bienvenidos a Laredo! Welcome to Laredo!
“As the newly elected Mayor of Laredo, I am proud to co-host, along with Webb County Judge Tano Tijerina, this momentous event.
This event serves as the first meeting of the Binational Burgos Basin Energy Consortium.
“Yes, together we can embark on an excellent opportunity to come together as a region.
“A region that is ready and poised to showcase our assets, our strengths, our experiences, our people and our expertise in the oil and gas industry and other related industries.
“I submit to you, that we need to showcase our value as a region, not only to the rest of the United States and Mexico, but to the rest of the world.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the recent Mexican energy reforms have potentially created a huge, economic game changing dynamic, for our border communities.
“Such reforms by Mexico, will allow us, the leaders of South Texas, the leaders of the Eagle Ford Shale industry and all others connected to it, to also become leaders in the marketing and supply of various goods, materials and services to Mexico, for Mexico’s much needed infrastructure within the Burgos Basin, located on the other side of the Rio Grande.
“Also we can become leaders in the exploration, development, production, transportation and marketing of hydrocarbons from the Burgos Basin.
“In an effort to attract large scale corporate investment, we need to identify ourselves as a unified region that spans nearly 300-350 border miles and which contains and offers multiple resources some of which include: our vehicular/commercial bridges and rail bridges, our seaports, airports, industrial park acreage and manufacturing plants; our customs, warehousing, logistics, transportation and trade experience. Just as importantly, our region offers an abundant understanding and appreciation of the Mexican culture, its language, customs and business traditions.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I look forward to the beginning of a very fruitful and successful collaboration amongst all border communities so that after today, we may come together as a region, to leverage all of our resources, particularly the creation of a communal database, which will not only bring awareness to our region, but will enhance our region’s marketing potential, which will ultimately produce significant economic growth and results, benefiting all of our communities.
“I look forward to our discussions of today.