We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Living with Oil

Promises, Peaks, and Declines on Mexico’s Gulf Coast

By Lisa Breglia

Publication Year: 2013

This insightful study examines Mexico’s oil crisis and the communities affected by the decline of Cantarell, the nation’s aging supergiant offshore oilfield

Published by: University of Texas Press


pdf iconDownload PDF (1.5 MB)
p. C-C

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (88.6 KB)
pp. i-vi


pdf iconDownload PDF (50.8 KB)
pp. vii-viii


pdf iconDownload PDF (75.3 KB)
pp. ix-xii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (342.1 KB)
pp. 1-22

Cantarell, the world’s largest offshore oilfi eld, lies underneath the warm, shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico. From the very first drops of crude drawn from Cantarell in 1979, it was clear that the field would exceed not only the expectations of the state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) but the wildest dreams of the Mexican state. The ...

read more

Part 1. Peaks and Declines

pdf iconDownload PDF (89.4 KB)
pp. 23-28

In July 2009 Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, marked the thirtieth anniversary of Mexico’s success in offshore oil drilling. Officials used the anniversary to launch more than a week of memorial activities including an orchestral concert, food festival, and artisanry fair. The celebration culminated in speeches by Pemex Director General Jesús Reyes Heroles...

read more

1. The Mexican Oil Crisis

pdf iconDownload PDF (600.3 KB)
pp. 29-64

In an oft-quoted and very memorable line of his 2006 State of the Union speech, George W. Bush proclaimed, “America is addicted to oil . . . which is often imported from unstable parts of world.” Bush’s comment struck a chord for an energy-dependent America at the height of the Iraq war. As a nation, the United States was consuming more than...

read more

2. Natural Resources in the Laguna de Términos: Piracy and Profit

pdf iconDownload PDF (400.2 KB)
pp. 65-102

Peaks and declines are a part of everyday life on the shores of Mexico’s Gulf coast, shaped by centuries of natural resource exploitation. The oil industry represents only the most recent in a nearly half-millennium of endlessly repeating cycles of natural resource extraction in the Laguna de Términos. Local residents are all too familiar with the production...

read more

Part 2. The Pesquera and the Petrolera

pdf iconDownload PDF (80.8 KB)
pp. 103-106

From the smallest towns to the largest cities across Mexico, the annual celebration of a community’s patron saint’s feast day is a greatly anticipated and much-lauded event. In Ciudad del Carmen, the veneration of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, the Virgen del Carmen, is no exception. The patron saint’s feast stretches across several days each summer ...

read more

3. The Peak and Decline of Fishing in the Laguna de Términos

pdf iconDownload PDF (498.7 KB)
pp. 107-145

The rich and varied resources of the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the vast, shallow Laguna de Términos have served the residents of Isla Aguada through thick and thin for generations. “Aquí, todos viven de la pesca” (Here, everyone lives off fi shing), one native Aguadeño explained to me; even those residents who appeared to earn their income...

read more

4. Capturing Compensation: Resource Wealth in the Era of Decline

pdf iconDownload PDF (502.6 KB)
pp. 146-190

“The only benefi t that the discovery of oil brought to Isla Aguada is a few jobs for people out there on the platforms, just a couple of them in Pemex. That’s all, nothing more,” said Don Ysidro quite bitterly. A fi sher in his seventies known in the community as El Pichón, he has seen the community struggle through peaks and declines throughout...

read more

Part 3. Post-Peak Politics: Energy Reform and the Race to Claim the Gulf of Mexico

pdf iconDownload PDF (100.1 KB)
pp. 191-196

July 2008. Walking the littered and pot-holed streets of Isla Aguada as the sun went down and residents stirred from late-afternoon torpor into early evening activity, I could hear the hum and occasional blare of televisions from the open windows and doors. Without fail, I would catch a snippet of a government-sponsored advertisement in support of the...

read more

5. “No to Privatization”: A Battle for Energy Independence

pdf iconDownload PDF (374.0 KB)
pp. 197-232

The summer of 2008 was a watershed moment for the global political economy of energy. A spike in prices driven by market speculation sparked an unprecedented oil price bubble across the global marketplace. Oil prices climbed to $147 per barrel. Surely the world’s sixth-largest oil producer stood to benefit from the price spike, perhaps by as much as ...

read more

6. Energy Security on the U.S.-Mexican Maritime Border: Transboundary Oil in the Deepwater Gulf

pdf iconDownload PDF (379.5 KB)
pp. 233-258

In May 2010 Mexican President Felipe Calderón paid an official state visit to Barack Obama at the White House. Calderón’s visit occurred during the immediate fallout of an unpopular Arizona immigration bill, SB1070, a law intensifying the criminalization of undocumented migration in the U.S.-Mexican border region. In their opening public ...

read more

Conclusion: Post-Peak Futures

pdf iconDownload PDF (101.0 KB)
pp. 259-264

Cantarell was born out of apocalypse, its rich oil deposits left in the destructive aftermath of an asteroid hitting the Yucatán Peninsula 65 million years ago. The ancient impact event caused an “armageddon”—setting off wildfires and tsunamis, darkening skies with soot and ash, and causing storms of acid rain. It was enough to kill off the dinosaurs, explains...


pdf iconDownload PDF (184.3 KB)
pp. 265-278


pdf iconDownload PDF (344.2 KB)
pp. 279-306


pdf iconDownload PDF (114.8 KB)
pp. 307-313

E-ISBN-13: 9780292748736
E-ISBN-10: 0292748736
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292744615
Print-ISBN-10: 0292744617

Page Count: 325
Illustrations: 5 b&w photos, 8 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2013