Carlos Slim: Mexico’s Richest Man to Invest $1.2B in Lakach Deepwater Field in Gulf of Mexico

The largest individual in Mexico, Carlos Slim, is the owner of a company that is investing $1.2 billion to develop a large gas field in the Gulf of Mexico. This field is predicted to generate gas in 2026, and it could serve as a model for future collaboration between the state oil company and private industry in Mexico.

Grupo Carso SAB, owned by Slim, entered into an agreement with Petroleos Mexicanos, the state-run oil company in Mexico, to investigate and extract from Lakach, a deepwater field that was found in 2007 approximately 98 kilometers (61 miles) southeast of Veracruz.

Grupo Carso will construct an inland facility to store and process the gas and condensates, while Pemex will own the field and its reserves. The Mexican government has reclaimed state authority over the energy sector under President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, whose term expires in September. However, production and exploration have stalled with less private investment.

Where others have failed to go, Slim is making headway in figuring out how to collaborate with Pemex. A similar deal to build Lakach with New Fortress Energy Inc. was canceled by Pemex last year.

A Carso deal to purchase interests in two oil fields was applauded by Lopez Obrador in December, “because it stays in the hands of Mexicans and I’m sure that they’re going to invest to extract crude.”

Lopez Obrador’s successor, President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum, has stated that she will engage with private energy companies while maintaining that Mexico’s natural resources belong to the people.

Carso will collaborate with Houston-based Talos Energy Inc. and a local unit of Spain’s Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas SA to develop Lakach. Slim has shares in both companies.

While his telecoms firm, America Movil SAB, accounts for the majority of his $93.3 billion fortune, Slim has spent the past decade investing in energy projects such as the development of offshore platforms.

Slim said earlier this week that Mexico needs to invest in energy so that it could capitalize on trade tensions between China and the United States and attract more investment. At an event in Mexico commemorating Engineer’s Day, he stated that his firms also have permits to create geothermal energy, but the government has yet to enable production.

Carso shares plummeted 2.8% to 127.86 pesos at the closing in Mexico City, prior to the Lakach proposal being published. The stock is down 33% this year, having more than doubled in 2023.

Leave a Reply