McALLEN, RGV – A new regional consortium set to focus on how northern Mexico and South Texas can make the most of oil shale development in the Burgos Basin was unveiled Friday morning at a press conference held at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce offices.

Tamaulipas’ State Secretary of Energy José Maria Leal Gutiérrez was on hand to address the newly formed Burgos Shale Consortium. The Burgos Basin is an extension of the Eagle Ford Shale deposit in South Texas, where hydrualic fracking is producing 1.4 million barrels of crude oil and other liquids every day.

Leal Gutiérrez said he was pleased with the formation of the consortium, which came as a result of the recent Mexico Energy Reform.

“I can tell you that the president of the republic (Enrique Pena Nieto) has set in motion this initiative with much enthusiasm and with expectations that all will work out with great success,” Leal Gutierrez said. The Mexico Energy Reform gives the country the ability to form partnerships with firms from other countries around the world, Leal Gutiérrez said.

“In the case of Tamaulipas, it gives us the opportunity to integrate ourselves with our nearest neighbors and in this case being South Texas,” Leal Gutiérrez told those present.

Tamaulipas' State Secretary of Energy José Maria Leal Gutiérrez. (Photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)
Tamaulipas’ State Secretary of Energy José Maria Leal Gutiérrez. (Photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)

The secretary of energy said the proximity between Tamaulipas and South Texas has advantages to both countries such as the business climate that already exists as well as the Burgos Basin. The Burgos Basin extends beneath much of the northern zone of Tamaulipas and already represents 18.5 percent of Mexico’s natural gas output.

“Burgos today is more than 110 thousand square kilometers. It has been explored in terms of hydrocarbons and gas and it has had the opportunity to project significant increments of more than 10 percent (in terms of production),” Leal Gutiérrez said.

An investment between 2015 and 2018 of 50 million dollars will be made in the industry, Leal Gutierrez said. This investment will allow Petroleos Mexicanos or PEMEX and the government to launch economic initiatives. Leal Gutiérrez said this investment, which may consist of an additional 25 million dollars in the future, will allow for exploration in the Gulf of Mexico in a deep water exploration area known as Perdido Fold Belt. More than 50 years ago, this area had been explored to a depth of 300 to 400 meters.

“Today, with the possibity of exploring new technologies and partnering up with other firms, we could potentially explore even deeper waters which is important to overall exploration,” Leal Gutiérrez said.

Leal Gutierrez said in terms of gas exploration and production, the Tamaulipas Energy Department has been in talks with several companies in the Eagle Ford Shale areas in order to gain knowledge of the shale development and its impact in its communities. He said this was important information in terms of what to expect in the state of Tamaulipas. Shale gas exploration is currently underway in the Sabine Basin in Nuevo Laredo and in the Tampico-Misantla Basin.

A concern that the Governor of Tamaulipas, Egidio Torre Cantú has, Leal Gutiérrez said, is that the people of Tamaulipas benefit not just economically but a better quality of life. As the reform sweeps the country, economic growth, implementation and use of new technologies and the creation of new firms is expected, Leal Gutiérrez said.

“What we aspire is to be able to reach the objectives of the new reform, that the initiatives set forth from our president, Enrique Pena Nieto, be successful in the short term, and that we will be able to see results in a short amount of time,” Leal Gutiérrez said.

Tamaulipas is a top producer of conventional energy in the nation, and it has the potential to produce unconventional and renewable energy sources. Currently, energy production in the state consists of hydrocarbon production by PEMEX and conventional electric generation administered by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).

The Mexican Government has estimated prospective non-conventional resources of 60.2 billions of barrels of oil crude equivalent, 75 percent of which are contained between the Burgos and Tampico-Misantla Basins.