Many countries, among them the United States, claim that strike leaders now controlling Iranian oil fields are communists and radicals...
SV: Mexico's President Jose Lopez Portillo was asked about sales to United States.
SV: President asked whether U.S. will get price concessions.
SV: President asked whether Israel would get oil if it went to war.
SV: President asked whether oil would be sold to South Africa.
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Background: Many countries, among them the United States, claim that strike leaders now controlling Iranian oil fields are communists and radicals... so another oil crisis could be imminent. Washington fears that, whatever government comes to power in Iran, it may be unable to assert control over the oilfields, which are the second largest in the world. But the United States now has other options. President Carter left for Mexico on Wednesday (14 February) for talks which will include the possibility of buying some of Mexico's burgeoning oil and gas supplies. Mexico's known oil reserves are large, but if the potential reserves are confirmed, they could prove bigger than those of Saudi Arabia. On Monday (12 February), President Jose Lopez Portillo spoke to Visnews Tony Halik about future Mexican sales.
SYNOPSIS: President Portillo was asked whether Mexico would actually sell oil and gas to the United States.
President Lopez Portillo said that, of course, Mexico would sell oil and gas to the United States. Its rich neighbour was Mexico's logical client - not necessarily unique - but always the major potential client. Mexico imported vast amounts of American goods.
The President was asked whether the United States would receive any price privileges from Mexico. He said it wasn't a matter of favours, or arbitrarily raising or lowering prices, but of negotiations, so that good relations with the United States were not harmed. Prices are crucial. Last year, U.S. Mexican negotiations on gas broke down because Canada's prices were lower. more oil production means more gas, for which a market must be found. At the moment, most of the Mexican gas is burnt off, because, to liquify and ship it would be too costly, but this could be overcome with American help to pie it across the border.
Mexico sells seven point five percent of its current production of oil to Israel, and the President was asked if sales would continue if Israel went to war again. He said Mexico would sell oil to Israel, which he called an old friend.
And would Mexico also sell oil to South Africa? President Lopez Portillo said that, so far, South Africa had not asked for Mexican oil. However, the problem of selling the oil was not so simple. It would take a lot of investment to reach the production rate of one point five million barrels a day. Such high investment had to be carefully balanced against the gains to be made from oil revenues.
President Lopez Portillo said that, even if the world went through an energy crisis, and the need for Mexican oil increased, mexico did not plan by 1980, to go above a daily production rate of between two point two and two point five million barrels a day.