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In recent years, Brazil and Mexico have discussed forming a full alliance between their state-run petroleum companies. But now it seems like the two countries are ready to move beyond just talk and minor cooperation accords and develop a more permanent relationship between PEMEX and Petrobras.Presidents Felipe Calderon and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva discussed creating joint opportunities for the two companies during Calderon's visit to Brazil in mid-August. The proposal to cooperate in the energy sector is the centerpiece of a major trade and economic agreement that Brazil and Mexico are discussing. Mexican Energy Secretary Georgina Kessel, who accompanied Calderon to Brazil, said the two countries discussed increased cooperation in refining, petrochemical, exploration, and production. While the alliance would provide benefits for both PEMEX and Petrobras, the Mexican company stands to gain the most from a long-term cooperation scheme with its Brazilian counterpart. The two companies have already entered into some technical-cooperation agreements, including one in which Petrobras is offering PEMEX assistance with deep-sea drilling . This need to access deep-sea reserves is partly behind Calderon's urgency to expand the relationship between PEMEX and Petrobras.