Bauer Business Focus

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Stephen Zamora | September 14, 2012

Published on September 12, 2012

“Oil and gas resources don’t stop at the border so if there is an oilfield below the ground in northern Mexico and southern U.S., that resource could be exploited by either side," said Stephen Zamora, Leonard B. Rosenberg professor of Law and Center for U.S. and Mexican Law director at the University of Houston.

On Bauer Business Focus — A conversation on defining drilling borders between Mexico and the U.S. with Andrew Schneider, business reporter for KUHF 88.7 FM.

In February 2012, the United States and Mexico reached an agreement on regulating oil and gas development along the maritime border in the Gulf of Mexico, ending years of negotiations and potentially opening more than a million acres to deepwater drilling.

Stephen Zamora, who serves as Leonard B. Rosenberg Professor of Law and director of the  Center for U.S. and Mexican Law at the University of Houston, stopped by Bauer Business Focus recently to discuss how this agreement will have both pros and cons for both sides.

“The boundary in the Gulf of Mexico, known as the ‘donut hole,’ has never been agreed upon until now,” Zamora said. “Since there has been no agreement until now, the U.S. or Mexico have not felt comfortable exploiting gas in that area so they could avoid conflict; with this agreement, there will be less of that.”

Despite the agreement, some gray areas to obtaining resources remain, according to Zamora.

“Oil and gas resources don’t stop at the border, so if there is an oilfield below the ground in northern Mexico and southern U.S., that resource could be exploited by either side. Because these resources do not have a wall within it that reflects the border above it, there has to be a means to work out who should get the resource because if one goes in and removes all the oil, it would be removing it from the other side.”

Click here to hear the full interview.

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