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Witnesses Stress Importance
Of Transboundary Agreement

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources in late April was examining steps needed for implementation and a legislative hearing on the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act (H.R. 1613). The legislation would implement the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Reservoirs Agreement by lifting the current moratorium on drilling in the Western Gap area of the Gulf of Mexico.

Supporters comment it also provides the certainty needed to develop energy along the entirety of the U.S.-Mexico maritime border in the Gulf of Mexico, allowing for expanded energy development in the Gulf to create jobs, lower energy prices, and make the U.S. more energy secure. At an April 25 hearing, officials from the Obama administration and energy experts highlighted the importance of approving the agreement.

“The Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement with Mexico is important as it could help create additional resource opportunities for U.S oil and natural gas companies in the Gulf of Mexico and in turn create more jobs and enhance our energy security,” said Erik Milito, group director, upstream and industry operations, at the American Petroleum Institute.

“We welcome H.R. 1613, the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act, that was introduced late last week,” added Carlos Pascual, former U.S. ambassador to Mexico and now special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs at the U.S. State Department. “We are encouraged by the accelerating pace of interest and movement on implementing this agreement. It is one that provides a much needed mechanism to facilitate the responsible and efficient exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources along the U.S.-Mexico maritime boundary.”