North American Energy Dialogue

Oil pipeline transversing a snowy field in front of forest

A Six-Part Seminar Series Presented by:

The energy markets of Canada, the United States, and Mexico are becoming increasingly interdependent as physical infrastructure and commodities trade continues to grow across North America.  With free trade treatment of many energy commodities through NAFTA, and now USMCA, the three neighbouring countries include each other's largest import and export markets for many of these commodities. Total energy trade (2017) among the three countries totalled approximately $123 billion USD. As a semi-integrated regional energy market, changes in one country have repercussions on its neighbours.

While the three countries share tremendous growth potential through market integration, major challenges can also equally afflict the region. Canada, the United States and Mexico are oil-producing countries that have been affected particularly hard by the economic and market impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. As an oil-producing region all three countries face the challenge of accelerating widespread clean energy innovation as an indispensable part of an effective, long-term global response to our shared climate challenge, and as a critical component for energy security.

The University of Alberta, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Tecnologico de Monterrey, are leading research-intensive universities in their respective countries, each possessing strong energy focused expertise. The three universities are uniquely positioned to create a platform that enables discussion and analysis on energy policy, through a North American perspective. These webinars will include insights from experts from the three countries as well as perspectives from government, academia, industry, and think tanks.

Presented in partnership with:

The School of Government and Public Transformation at Tecnologico de Monterrey

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business

Seminar 1

North American Energy Policy post COVID-19: Perspectives from Canada, the United States and Mexico

Date: Thursday, May 7, 2020 (8:30 - 9:30 AM MST)

This introductory webinar captured a North American snapshot of key insights into the COVID-19 crisis and energy sector, and look ahead to the critical areas that policymakers should consider as we move from crisis to recovery. Mediated by Marianne Kah of the Center on Global Energy Policy, it featured panelists Joseph Doucet, Dean of the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta, Barry Smitherman, Principle of Barry Smitherman, P.C., and Dr. Luis Serra, Chief Executive of the Energy Initiative at Tecnológico de Monterrey.

Seminar 2

The Mexican Energy Landscape: Perspectives from Canada, the United States and Mexico

Date: Thursday, October 8, 2020 (8:00 - 9:00 AM MST)

See the seminar poster here.

After decades of a closed energy sector, Mexico opened up to private and foreign investment with the Mexican energy reform, which began in 2013. U.S., Canadian, and Mexican companies—from ExxonMobil to Halliburton to Trans Canada—have contributed to the more than $150 billion of investment by foreign companies in oil and gas exploration, pipelines, storage and other infrastructure since the opening of Mexico’s energy sectors including close to $9 billion of Canadian investment in Mexico’s energy sector, of which over $3.1 billion is in renewable energy.

While not modifying the legal framework of 2013’s energy reform, the current Mexican administration has shown signs of changing its energy policy and regulatory direction. The market-oriented energy policies that prevailed since 2013 are shifting toward state-driven policies mainly focused on fossil-fuels, strengthening the state-owned oil and power companies (PEMEX and CFE, respectively), and the construction of large-scale infrastructure projects in search of energy sovereignty. What are the effects on Mexico’s international environmental commitments? What are the overall effects on trade and investment, and for deeper North American energy integration?

The University of Alberta, the University of Texas at Austin, and Tecnologico de Monterrey invite you to a conversation on the topic “Mexico’s Energy Landscape: perspectives from Canada, the United States and Mexico”. Experts from Canada, the United States, and Mexico, will discuss Mexico’s current reality, sharing best practices, experiences, and policy options, from their respective jurisdictions.


Dr. Carlos Elizondo Mayer-Serra, professor at the School of Government and Public Transformation at Tec de Monterrey

Dr. Isidro Morales, Professor and Researcher at the School of Government and Public Transformation, Tecnologico de Monterrey

Jorge Piñon, Director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, Jackson School of Geosciences, at the University of Texas at Austin

Jorge A. Rave, Chief Representative in Mexico City with Export Development Canada (EDC)

Missed it? Watch the seminar below.

Seminar 3

How Biden's Energy/Environmental Policy Could Impact US-Mexico-Canada Energy Trade

Date: Thursday, February 11, 2021 (10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. MST)

See the invitation here and the seminar poster here.

According to the EIA, U.S. total energy exports exceed imports in 2019 for the first time in 67 years; and the U.S. will remain net exporter through 2050 as a result of increases in energy efficiency, growth in domestic oil and natural gas production, and slow growth in energy demand. How will the Biden administration’s environmental attitude adjust this trajectory and impact partnerships in North America? What is the tradeoff between energy independence in the region and the speed of the energy transition? What is the impact of a reduction of North American hydrocarbon exports on global politics? What can Biden do without the support of Congress and the lack of a “blue wave” in the 2020 election? Will Biden’s infrastructure development pledge impact the region or just the US? Do Canada, and to a lesser extent, Mexico have potential to provide significant future supplies of renewable electricity to U.S. markets, which could help the United States meet environmental policy objectives?

This discussion will attempt to outline the key issues and analyze the possibilities as Biden’s energy policy unfolds.


Dr. Sergio M. Alcocer, Researcher, Engineering Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico

Ben Cahill, Senior Fellow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program, CSIS

Aindriú C. Colgan, DiTax and Trade Policy Manager, American Petroleum Institute

Dr. Andrew Leach, Associate Professor, Alberta School of Business

Moderated by Rachel McCormick, Consul General of Canada in Dallas, United States

Missed it? Watch the seminar below.

Seminar 4

Industrial Decarbonization & the Role of CCUS: a Canadian Outlook

Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 (10:00 AM MST)


See the poster here.

Industry is the basis for prospering societies and central to economic development. As the source of almost one-quarter of CO2 emissions, it must also be a central part of the clean energy transition. This webinar will take a closer look at CCUS technologies and the critical role they can play in reducing industry sector CO2 emissions. The focus will be on Canada’s current energy landscape, but will draw upon perspectives and experiences from experts in the United States and Mexico.

  • How can governments support development and deployment of CCUS in industry as part of a least-cost portfolio of technologies needed to achieve climate & energy goals?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities in the development of CCUS “hubs” in industrial areas with shared transport & storage infrastructure?
  • Can lower-carbon cement, steel and chemicals, accelerate the adoption of CCUS and other lower-carbon processes?

The program will open with a keynote speaker who will introduce and set up the topic. Following the keynote, each panelist will deliver opening statements. A conversation among the panelists will follow which will be led by a moderator.


Keynote and Moderator
Dr. Rick Chalaturnyk
Professor, Geotechnical Engineering
NSERC/Energi Simulation Industrial Research Chair
Director, Reservoir Geomechanics Research Group

Nestor Isaias Mora
Head, Global Quality &

Dr. Katharine Romanak
Research Associate, Bureau of Economic Geology
University of Texas at Austin
United States

Drew Leyburne
Assistant Deputy Minister
Energy Technology Sector
Natural Resources Canada

Missed it? Watch the seminar below.

Seminar 5

Accelerating the Net-Zero Transition: Can CCUS support keep pace?

Date: Thursday, September 23, 2021 (11:00 AM MT)

Exciting, innovative scenarios for energy transition –– including zero carbon hydrogen, geothermal, wind, solar and direct carbon removal in the fossil fuel industry –– are being pursued in jurisdictions worldwide. In almost all cases, CCUS (carbon capture, utilization and storage) is identified as an essential component of these scenarios' successful implementation. In its current state, is CCUS ready to support these developments in Canada, United States and Mexico? What technological, policy, and economic circumstances could enable CCUS to accelerate the global energy transition to net-zero? 


Keynote and Moderator
Dr. Rick Chalaturnyk
Professor, Geotechnical Engineering
Director, Reservoir Geomechanics Research Group
NSERC/Energi Simulation Industrial Research Chair

Edmundo Molina Perez

Professor, School of Government and Public Transformation
Lead - Decision Making Center of the School of Government and Public Transformation
Tec de Monterrey

Mike Monea

President at Monea-CCS Services Limited
Past President and CEO - International Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Knowledge Centre

Tim Wiwchar
Business Opportunity Manager – Scotford Polaris CCS

Thank you for those who attended! If you missed it, watch the video below!

Seminar 6

The Future of Oil and Gas in the Age of Decarbonization

Date: Thursday, March 3, 2022 (12:00 PM MST)

An energy transition is happening now, and it’s complicated. While global governments set ambitious targets to decarbonize by 2050, the International Energy Agency still forecasts a demand of 20-80 million barrels of oil per day by 2050.

Beyond its role as a fuel, oil is necessary for production of plastics, synthetics, clothing and more. With such conflicting priorities and demands, what is the future of the oil and gas sector? Industry experts will discuss the economic, political, and social contexts of oil and gas development, its future and consider the consequences of transitioning too quickly or not quickly enough.

Join us for a look into the long road to decarbonization, and how it may impact all of our daily lives.

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Kris Smith
Executive Vice President, Downstream, Suncor


Merlin Cochran
General Director, Mexican Association of Hydrocarbons
Richard J Chuchla
Director of the Energy and Earth Sciences Graduate Program, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin
Moderated by Dr. Juliana Leung
Professor, Petroleum Engineering, Faculty of Engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta