Mexico, U.S. extend no-drilling pact on Gulf of Mexico oil at border

11:17, June 24, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The United States and Mexico have agreed to extend a treaty on holding off from drilling oil close to their shared border in the Gulf of Mexico for a further three years, Mexico's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

It is the second time the two nations have agreed to extend the pact that covers an area commonly known as the "doughnut hole" that lies outside both countries' 200 nautical mile territorial limits in the Gulf of Mexico.

The ministry said in a statement that both sides had a "shared intention to negotiate a treaty that regulates the use of hydrocarbon deposits that cross our shared maritime frontier."

Oil drilling in shared water areas has been a hot issue in Mexico since 2000 when then-President Vicente Fox accused the U.S. of sucking up natural gas from exploration wells that cross under their shared border and selling it back to Mexico across the top.

"No entity has recorded the presence of any cross-border deposit, but we consider it important to have a regime of rules with a bilateral character in case a discovery should occur in the future," said the statement.

The ministry said the latest agreement was a follow-up to the work done by President Felipe Calderon and President Barack Obama when they met on May 19 in Washington.

Mexico is not capable of exploring at the water depths in the area covered by the treaty due to lack of technology at Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the only firm allowed to explore or exploit hydrocarbons on Mexican territory.

There are plenty of firms on the U.S. side that can explore deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico, but such exploration activity has caused a massive ecological disaster this year.

On April 20, a gas explosion on a rig called the Deepwater Horizon triggered an oil spill that is leaking thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico per day.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • A man visits "Thy Word Is Truth, the Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Protestant Church in China", during its opening at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church in Washington DC, capital of the United States, Sept. 28, 2011. Through the Bible's various Chinese versions, ancient or modern, as well as pictures, paintings, calligraphy, art works and historical documents, the exhibition was expected to give an overall understanding of how Bible was brought into China, how it was translated, published, distributed and loved. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
  • A visitor passes by in the exhibition of Istanbul design week on Sept. 28, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul design week will be hosting designers and design exhibitions from around the world in Istanbul from Sept 28 to Oct 2 with the participation of 25 countries. (Xinhua/Ma yan)
  • Red flag flies at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 28, 2011. A spokesperson with China's manned space program said Wednesday that fuel has been injected into the Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket in preparation for launching the Tiangong-1 space module Thursday evening as planned. (Xinhua/Wang Jianmin)
  • A militant loyal to the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) waves in a tank near Bani Walid, one of the pro-Muammar Gaddafi strongholds, on Sept. 28, 2011. (Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)
  • Jewish worshippers pray at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City on Sept. 28, 2011, ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the two-day Jewish new year which will begin at sunset on Sept. 28 and conclude at nightfall on Sept. 30. (Xinhua/Muammar Awad)
  • High school student Johanna Choapa is helped by her father after announcing the end of hunger strike in Santiago, capital of Chile, on Sept. 28, 2011. The end of the strike took place to make way for a dialogue with the government, seeking to resolve the four-month crisis in the education sector. (Xinhua/Jorge Villegas)
Hot Forum Discussion