North American neighbours the United States and Mexico have signed a pact to share out oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon to sign the agreement over oil and natural gas reservoirs along their sea boundary.
The deal means nearly 1.5 million acres of the US Outer Continental Shelf will be more accessible for exploration activity.
Secretary Salazar said: “This agreement makes available promising areas in the resource-rich Gulf of Mexico and establishes a clear process by which both governments can provide the necessary oversight to ensure exploration and development activities are conducted safely.”
Estimates by the USA’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management suggest this area contains up to 172 million barrels of oil and 304 billion cubic feet of natural gas.