News Column

Center Studies Joint US, Mexican Oil Development

Sept. 6, 2012
offshore oil platform

The Center for U.S. and Mexican Law at the University of Houston Law Center is looking at domestic and international laws that govern development of shared oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico, with an eye to identifying potential regulatory conflicts that could pose environmental dangers, according to the center.

Industry and regulatory cultures in the two countries diverge widely, the center says. Mexico's oil resources are state owned and developed, while the U.S. model emphasizes diversity and competition.

However, the possibility of oil and gas fields that straddle the U.S.-Mexico maritime border in the gulf has enticed the two nations to seek opportunities for joint development and environmental protection strategies.

The two countries signed an agreement on Feb. 20 to come to a collaborative relationship. The agreement may result in significant legal, institutional, and regulatory gaps and conflicts, the center says. The first phase of the project will identify potential conflicts.

The project is led by Miriam Grunstein, professor of law at CIDE University in Mexico City, and Richard McLaughlin, Endowed Chair for Marine Policy and Law at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi.

The research project is a collaborative effort between the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law and the Harte Research Institute.

Source: (c) 2012. All rights reserved.

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