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President Calderón at Second Meeting of African, Latin American and Caribbean Energy Ministers

Thursday, April 3, 2008 | Speech

Cancún, Quintana Roo

The last time we met, at the World Energy Forum in Amsterdam, in 2004, as a speaker on the opening panel, I remarked on the oil prices the world was facing, which were beginning to rise. As I recall, oil prices had reached approximately $40 dollars a barrel, and these were permanent or long-term prices, not temporary ones.

As you know, the 21st century will be marked by new energy needs. The International Energy Agency estimates that world demand for fuel in 2030 will be at least 50% higher than current rates.

In Mexico we are engaged in a debate to find mechanisms that will enable us to strengthen Petróleos Mexicanos, PEMEX, the oil company owned by all Mexicans and overcome the challenges this firm will face on various fronts, which I will describe very briefly.

We estimate that by the year 2012, we will have proven reserves of only 13.5 billion barrels of equivalent crude oil, meaning a 1.2 billion reduction of barrels in our reserves which, at current prices, would be more or less $800 billion dollars.

The good news is that our oil can be used to finance the prosperity of future generations of Mexicans if we are brave enough to decide now and make the necessary decisions about our oil industry to turn it once again into one of the world’s leading firms.

PEMEX must be supported to expand its transport, storage and distribution infrastructure and must be given the flexibility it needs to be able to contract output capacity and state of the art technology in the best conditions for Petróleos Mexicanos.

I am sure that during this meeting, oil producing countries will be able to exchange valuable experiences and share them with participating nations and of course Mexico. We are very interested in finding out about your experience and knowing what you consider has worked and what could be done differently.

The 21st century will be historically marked by a profound energy transformation, a major transformation, perhaps greater than the one mankind experienced with the shift from coal-based energy to electricity.

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