fracking fever fizzles in mexico’s burgos basin

earlier this week, national public radio (npr) in the u.s. reported on the progress of fracking (process of fracturing shale rock to extract petroleum and natural gas) in the burgos basin shale fields of northern mexico.

burgos basin

read and listen to the whole npr report here.

npr explains that in december 2013 mexico changed its constitution to allow foreign investment in the petroleum industry.  mexico is looking for private investors because….

a fracking well (

with each well costing $10 million to $20 million, pemex, the mexican state oil company, can’t afford to drill these horizontal, water-fractured wells, but mexico desperately needs to boost its declining oil production.

afford means having enough resources.  it is almost always used with can/can’t.  the idea here is that pemex doesn’t have enough money to build the fracking wells so they are looking for investors from other countries. a  boost is help or an increase.

energy drinks boost adrenaline. or at least nervous energy. (wikipedia)

one problem mexico is facing is that

the burgos basin sits smack-dab in the backyard of mexico’s murderous drug mafias.

smack-dab is a colorful expression that means exactly.

many items can be bought on e-bay through a bidding process. 

the national hydrocarbon commission manages the bidding process (financial negotiation) for companies looking to exploit mexico’s shale fields. edgar rangel, one of the commissioners, addressed the burgos basin security concerns

we are aware of that. we cannot deny there are areas that have a high risk. we’re selecting only areas where pemex and other companies can work safely.

aware means they know it.  deny is the opposite of affirm. so far, the burgos basin has not been considered a safe place to work and has not been open for bidding.

candle fizzling out
comet fizzle out
…..& comets, among other things, fizzle out too. (victor c. rogus)

the headline and overall tone of the article communicate disappointment

Excitement Over Mexico’s Shale Fizzles As Reality Sets In

set in means become clear or obvious, and fizzle means to weakly disappear.

the global decrease of the price of petroleum is another reason hopes for fracking in mexico have fizzled. investments in fracking at this time would probably not generate enough profit to make them attractive.  nevertheless, the article reaches this moderately hopeful conclusion

when oil prices rebound, interest in mexico will pick up — and the burgos basin boom may finally take off.

rebound means return to previous levels.  pick up means increase.  boom refers to a time when business is great and take off means start.

rebound is also used in basketball to describe the action when a player recovers the ball after a missed shot. (kristin murphy, deseret news)

what is your opinion about fracking or the petroleum industry in general?  do security issues affect finances in your country?  share your answers under leave a reply




One Reply to “fracking fever fizzles in mexico’s burgos basin”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *