Meet the members

Jarl Pedersen, Chief Commercial Officer, Port of Corpus Christi Authority

March 2017

How did you come to be in the energy industry?

I have always had a fascination for the energy industry and I received my Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Energy Systems. I was lucky that my first job as a project engineer was with a leading company in the energy industry.

What are your top 3 responsibilities in PCCA (please correct abbreviation if needed)?

My top three responsibilities include charting the strategic direction for the Port while guiding the Port to be positioned best possible for the future and building strong relationships with existing and new customers.

Where do you see the greatest opportunity in the Mexico/US energy market?

Natural Gas and Refined Petroleum Products

Export of Natural Gas via pipelines to Mexico; Considering the natural gas pipelines currently under construction, as well as those in the planning stages, the US is on track to double the current border-crossing Natural Gas pipeline capacity to Mexico.

Due to the recent Energy Reform in Mexico and the need for Mexico to import about 50% of the demand for Diesel and gasoline, there are great opportunities for US producers of refined products and marketers to export Diesel and gasoline to Mexico via tankers to marine import terminals, via railroad to inland terminals and via pipelines to major metropolitan areas in Mexico.

Where do you see the greatest challenge when it comes to Mexico?

There is opportunity in every challenge; for a long time Mexico’s energy sector was controlled by state owned Pemex. Due to lack of capital, the energy infrastructure including crude oil exploration and production as well as refinery capacity has not kept up with the increasing demand. As Mexico’s Energy Reform is implemented the US is well positioned to be an ally and aid in the efforts to modernize Mexico’s energy sector.

The legal system is different and there is not a long tradition of competition and doing energy deals in Mexico similar to the open market system in the US. The political system including governmental and regulatory bodies are different and changing, which may raise concerns regarding certain political and regulatory risks when doing business in Mexico.

Do you feel that new U.S. policies (taxation/import) will significantly change market trends in Mexico? How?

No one has a perfect crystal ball, but it isn’t a stretch to envision that increasing taxation on the US/Mexico import/export cargo would result in development of different trade routes.

There are several projects and partners you are involved with, including Oxy, Cheniere, TPCO, Buckeye Partners. How do companies generally work with you and what steps do they need to take to form that partnership? 

Companies worldwide are interested in Port of Corpus Christi due to the deep-water channel that is authorized to 54-foot (currently 47-foot deep) and the vicinity to the Eagle Ford Shale and prolific Permian Basin crude oil and Natural Gas production areas. The Corpus Christi area is in attainment for ozone which allows new industry to obtain air permits and there are large tracts of land suitable for industrial development. We often forget to mention the business-friendly climate in Texas.

Once there is a mutual interest, we help develop solutions that meet the specific customer’s needs to help achieve their goals.

What are your partners’ views and plans regarding Mexico? What are the major opportunities they see in the country?  

Several of the Port’s customers have strong ties to companies in Mexico, including joint venture projects such as the Ingleside Ethylene cracker plant that has just been commissioned by OxyChem and Mexichem in a 50%/50% partnership. Another example is the world’s largest PTA and PET manufacturing plant currently under construction by M&G Resins, where DAK Americas, US affiliate of Alfa Group based in Mexico, is purchasing a significant amount of the PET production.

In comparison to 12 and 24 months ago, do you feel the appetite in Mexico grew? Why?

The export from Port Corpus Christi to Mexico increased significantly from 2015 to 2016 to a value of more than $1.7 Billion. The main export products were refined petroleum products and organic chemicals, both related to the energy renaissance in the US resulting from the innovation in extraction of crude oil and natural gas from shale formations.

According to the EIA, Mexico’s energy imports from the US help meet increasing demand for fuel for power generation, offset declines in Mexico’s Natural Gas production, and reduces reliance on the import of LNG.

Talking about US/Mexico energy cooperation/export/import: what do you feel the next biggest trend will be?

After expansion of natural gas infrastructure between the US and Mexico, the next trend probably will be development of infrastructure and cooperation for export/import of refined petroleum products.

What is the investment appetite when it comes to projects at PCCA? Do you expect it to grow/remain the same/ decrease in 2018? Why?

Currently there are about $40 Billion of industrial manufacturing projects under construction in the Corpus Christi area including Unit 1 and Unit 2 of the Cheniere Corpus Christi Liquefaction project for export of LNG. More companies are interested in Port Corpus Christi and we are working on a significant pipeline of project opportunities including world scale ethylene cracker plant as well as derivative units for production of ethylene glycol and polyethylene. 

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