But for a growing chorus of Mexicans, sharing a milkshake is preferable to watching your neighbor drink it up. Mexico has no viable deepwater drilling program to match U.S. efforts near the maritime border. And it lacks an iron-clad legal means to defend its patrimony. Some are urging their government to partner with the U.S. to co-develop border fields or risk losing those deposits.

The paper says the U.S. has approved drilling rights just ten miles from Mexican waters. The two countries have a prickly history over oil—Mexico nationalized its industry in the 1930s because of interference from Standard Oil. The country faces declining production and doesn’t have the ability to drill in deep water.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.