MEXICO CITY – Mexico and the US agreed Thursday to take energy relations to the “next level” and bolster security, interconnections and integration in the power sector to boost economic development, officials said.
The countries had a “frank” dialogue about energy security, Mexican Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, and his American counterpart, Rick Perry, said in a joint statement.
Coldwell said the two sides created a three-point strategy focusing on trade; expansion of energy infrastructure along the border; and investment promotion.
Mexico is the No. 2 US trading partner in the energy area and the two countries have developed extensive infrastructure that has the potential to be expanded, Coldwell said.
The 11 high-voltage cross-border power lines carried 3,781 gigawatt hours (GW/h) between Mexico and the US in 2016.
Mexico City and Washington have identified numerous investment opportunities for companies looking to employ capital in the sector, Coldwell said.
Perry, for his part, said the strategy’s goal was to expand energy security and bolster economic growth in North America, benefiting the US, Mexico and Canada.
Cross-border energy trade totaled $39 billion in 2016, Coldwell said.
Mexico is the No. 4 exporter of crude oil, mostly heavy crude that requires additional refining, to the US, while 58 percent of US gas exports and 40 percent of petroleum exports head to Washington’s southern neighbor.
US companies bidding on projects in Mexico’s recently liberalized energy industry have agreed to pump $7.5 billion into projects in the sector, Coldwell said.