Earthquakes & conflict linked to fracking, Nuevo Leon, Mexico


In August 2014, the Mexican government passed secondary legislature to their recent energy reforms that further opens the door to foreign companies wanting to work in the country's energy sector. This includes the US-Mexican Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement, which allows US and Mexican companies to jointly exploit resources in marine areas shared by the two countries (6). the most attention is focused on the Burgos Basin, which spans the states of Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and Nuevo León. This basin yields two-thirds of all Mexico’s natural gas production currently. These reforms sparked preventative protests in July of 2014, in which farmers and activists marched to the capital and blocked major highways (3, 4).

See more...
Basic Data
NameEarthquakes & conflict linked to fracking, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
ProvinceNuevo Leon
SiteLas Enramadas; Garza Gonzalez
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Shale gas fracking
Specific CommoditiesNatural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project Details-up to 20,000 wells expected to be drilled in Burgos Basin

-each well will cost between 20-25 million USD

-only 'modest production' per each well expected (6)
Level of Investment (in USD)800,000,000
Potential Affected Population2-4,000,000
Start Date01/01/2013
Company Names or State EnterprisesPEMEX from Mexico
Halliburton from United States of America
Schlumberger from United States of America
Relevant government actorsMexican Senate;

Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersComité Ecológico Pro Bienestar;

Mexican Alliance against Fracking

Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
communal-land owners
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Fires, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Otherincreased seismic activity; earthquakes
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Deaths
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Othercosts associated with damage from earthquakes
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (failure for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Development of AlternativesThe Mexican Alliance against Fracking and the Comité Ecológico Pro Bienestar have both delivered petitions demanding a fracking ban. Other activists call for a determination of who will be responsible for costs incurred by earthquake damages.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Though fracking activities are underway and the petitions have not been responded to, resistance is ongoing.
Sources and Materials

Mexico's secondary legislation on energy reform
[click to view]

Mexico Energy Reform, 2013
[click to view]


5. Fracking Fights Loom Large in Mexico, Part IV- article
[click to view]

6. Fracking Frenzy: How the fracking industry is threatening the planet? (upcoming report)

1. Temor por el uso del fracking en Nuevo León- article
[click to view]

2. Los temblores causados por el fracking ya causaron daño en una primaria de NL- article
[click to view]

3. Tapping Mexico's Shale Gas Resources' Future Promise and Practical Challenges- article
[click to view]

4. Fracking Fights Loom Large in Mexico- article
[click to view]

Other Documents

Logo for the Mexican Alliance Against Fracking
[click to view]

image of a primary school in Nuevo León damaged by earthquakes that have been blamed on nearby fracking activities (5)
[click to view]

Meta Information
Last update05/01/2015