The U.S. Export-Import Bank, an independent federal agency, loaned more than $1 billion to the Mexican state oil company last year to fund Pemex’s drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
One $600 million loan financed the development of 18 oil and natural gas fields in the southern Gulf near the Yucatan Peninsula.
A loan worth $300 million funded the construction of oil production facilities in another part of the Gulf, and $150 million went to support Pemex’s Strategic Gas Program, which includes production in the Gulf, CNSNews disclosed.
The Export-Import Bank has another $1 billion in loans on tap for Pemex in 2010. They are currently awaiting congressional approval.
The Mexican projects are not affected by the ban on offshore drilling imposed by President Obama in May following the BP oil spill. The ban applies only to deepwater drilling and the Pemex ventures are shallow-water projects.
Pemex has agreed to contract with American companies and buy equipment from American manufacturers in return for the loans, which have totaled $8.3 billion from the federal government since 1998, according to CNSNews.
Mexico is the United States’ second largest source of foreign oil, after Canada, shipping 1.2 million barrels per day.
So in effect, the federal government is lending money to the Mexican government to produce oil so that Americans can pay to import it.