“It is a contradiction in terms that Mexico, a major energy producer, now imports natural gas and gasoline,” says Mr Lozoya. ...
... He pulls out a map that shows one of two new gas pipelines that will bring cheap natural gas south from the US to feed Mexican industry and petrochemical development – especially of fertilisers.
“It is going to boost agriculture and heavy manufacturing, significantly,” he says. Then he adds, arching his eyebrows: “but most important of all, it is a two-way pipeline which will also allow us to send gas the other way.”
Emphasis added. I first stumbled upon this apparent paradox concerning Iran. I read that the country exported oil but imported gasoline. We tend to omit the role of refineries in the energy supply chain, creating a huge blind spot in our understanding of economic geography.
The Financial Times story about Mexico and Pemex should worry manufacturing boosters in the United States. The shale energy revolution is a game-changer. However, the benefits may accrue in ironic locations such as Mexico. A possible scenario is the export of raw resources south of the border and subsequent import of value-added products into the United States. Just something to think about the next time you see sensational headlines about shale gas and oil causing a jobs boom. Where will those jobs be created?