Why and how Mexico said no to shale gas development and Australia said yes? The implications and challenges moving forward

Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 26 February 2019


Seminar Room 1.04, Coombs Extension Building #8, ANU
ANU Canberra


José Alberto Hernández Ibarzába


School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet)

The newly elected government of Mexico has fulfilled its campaign promise not to go ahead with fracking. In this way, Mexico will rely further on the US for the supply of natural gas.

Another implication is putting a stop to the regional development of shale gas resources in North America and in the Americas (ie Argentina). Securing the supply of natural gas continues to be the main challenge for Mexico. On the other hand, Australia seems poised for shale gas development.

In April 2018 the Northern Territory government lifted the moratoria on fracking, and shale gas development is likely to resume in 2019 if the Commonwealth does not oppose this development. The shale gas resources in the Northern Territory amount to almost a third of the US shale gas resources.

Therefore, Australia could follow the path of a shale revolution and become a major global gas producer and exporter. The main challenge of such large scale development would be minimising the environmental and social impacts and securing a social licence to operate. Further, shale gas production vents and flares substantial amounts of methane, contributing to global warming and making these developments of global interest.

About the speaker

Dr José Alberto Hernández Ibarzábal is a Visiting Fellow conducting postdoctoral research in the areas of socio-economic, governance and environmental challenges of unconventional gas development in Mexico and Australia. He is a strong advocate for consulting with local communities and implementing best regulatory practice to lessen the environmental and health risks associated with fracking.

José has conducted research in natural gas infrastructure regulation, governability and investment since 2005. Generating knowledge in these areas has been the aim of his research, synthesised in seven publications alongside two doctoral theses and one Diploma of Advanced Studies thesis.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet