Deep beneath the Burgos
Basin, an arid, slipper-shaped coastal plain in northeastern
Mexico, lie untold quantities of natural gas. Geologists are
certain the basin holds at least two trillion cubic feet of
gas. It could contain 20 times that.
Mexico's Starving Cash Cow
Pemex, Mexico's national energy company, earns billions of dollars a year. But that prodigious wealth is vanishing
because the government has failed to feed its exploration
This massive gasfield has become a critical element in
Mexico's bid to meet growing demand for electricity, generated
by gas-fired power stations. But the basin's deposits are
expensive to extract. Years of haphazard drilling by the
national oil company Petróleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, have
damaged the gasfield. It skimmed off reserves that lay near the
surface but ran into difficulties developing gas trapped deeper
Mexico's ambitious goal of boosting gas production by 50% in
four years hinges on Burgos, which has also become a
battleground in an angry debate over whether foreign companies
should have a role in Mexico's energy industry. "Burgos is a
cornerstone of Mexico's...
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