Oil and gas industry leaders welcomed the passage of an agreement between the United States and Mexico to allow joint energy development projects along the countries’ shared maritime border as a part of the final approval of Congress’ budget deal on Dec. 18.
“The energy production made possible by this agreement will put Americans to work and raise more revenue for the government,” said American Petroleum Institute (API) director of upstream and industry operations Erik Milito. “American companies will now have the certainty they need to invest confidently along our maritime border with Mexico.”
The Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement between the United States and Mexico establishes a cooperative process for managing oil and gas reservoirs along the boundary region in the Gulf of Mexico. It provides legal certainty to American companies, which will encourage them to invest in new energy development, creating jobs and spurring economic growth. Approval of the agreement is part of the bipartisan budget bill approved by the Senate and last week by the House of Representatives.
“Offshore oil and natural gas development in the U.S. today is largely limited to the Western and Central Gulf of Mexico,” Milito said. “Opening up new areas in the Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico could produce even more energy, job creation and money for the government.”
Offshore energy development in the Atlantic could create 280,000 new American jobs and generate $51 billion in new revenue for the government, according to a recent study by Quest Offshore Resources. Eighty-seven percent of federal waters are currently off-limits to oil and natural gas exploration and development.