The Mexico Trade Resolution: An Energy Perspective

Why resolving the dispute is a win for Mexico, the United States and the world
Photograph: Shutterstock

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — While most of the attention on the U.S.-Mexico trade disputes have focused on agriculture and manufacturing products, the resolution of the dispute is a significant win for the energy sector in Mexico, the United States and the world. Consider:

  • Mexico is one of the top crude producers globally and has the 17th largest oil reserves in the world.
  • Mexico is the fourth largest source of U.S. oil imports at 608,000 barrels per day (bpd), just behind Canada, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
  • Mexico has the sixth largest natural-gas reserves in the world at 600 trillion cubic feet, or 107 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
  • Trade in energy with Mexico is extremely positive for the United States. The U.S. imports 212 million barrels of heavy crude per year and exports 234 million barrels of value-added refined products (50% of Mexican gasoline consumption, which is growing at 7% per year).
  • Mexico is the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyer from the U.S., and we export by pipeline 5 billion cubic feet per day (the equivalent of 891,000 bpd or 325 million barrels per year), equating to $20 billion per year.

The trade in commodity is valuable for the U.S. in balance of payments and jobs and valuable for the world in dampening crude prices. Also, with recent reforms in the Mexican energy market and capital flows, Mexico represents a tremendous opportunity for U.S. investors in pipelines, terminals, gas stations and other goods and services to grow Mexican capabilities and take advantage of its tremendous reserves and growing appetite for transport fuels and power.

Finally—and ironically—a healthy and growing Mexican economy will do more to lessen the immigrant flow to the U.S. than any wall or paper agreement could hope to achieve.

Joe Petrowski is director of fuels for Yesway, where he oversees operations of the fuels team, including pricing, procurement and management of the firm’s fleet services program. He also works closely with the company’s senior executives to help manage Yesway’s growth, improve operations and implement the firm’s business plan. Prior to joining Yesway, Petrowski was CEO of Cumberland Farms Gulf Oil Group, a diversified petroleum and retail c-store holding company located in 29 states with more than 8,000 employees and $13 billion in annual revenues. After leaving Cumberland Farms, he founded Mercantor Partners, a private-equity group focused on downstream energy distribution and retail convenience. Petrowski remained chairman of Gulf Oil through 2017 and oversaw the sale of Gulf Oil to ArcLight Capital Partners in 2015.


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