Go south, young man, there’s oil in that there shale!
That’s the message from Mexican officials and dozens of consultants to Texas oil and gas companies as the Mexican Congress moves to allow private foreign investment in every corner of the nation’s energy industry. Mexico’s natural resources and growing demand for energy present an alluring opportunity to business people prepared to assume some risk.
The question is, just how much risk?
I’ve reported from more than 30 countries, most of them developing nations, and I’ve interviewed business people in all of them who have found ways to make fortunes. But I’ve also found that while there may be riches on the horizon, there are often land mines on the road, sometimes literally.
Possessing no experience in Mexico myself, I decided to seek advice from someone who is a native Spanish speaker, has vast experience in the industry and knows Mexico well. I found Jorge Piñon, the director of the Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program at the University of Texas at Austin.