Enrique Peña Nieto campaigned on a reform platform, and this week the Mexican president followed through on one of his administration’s biggest and most ambitious policies: overhauling the country’s ailing state-run oil industry. Peña Nieto signed a raft of laws on Monday that will set up a regulatory framework for private companies to edge in on Mexico’s oil, gas, and electricity industries, which were previously controlled by the state. But, as Reuters reports, the work isn’t over yet, as later this week President Peña Nieto plans to reveal two more phases of these long-awaited reforms:
A so-called Round Zero allocation of oil and gas fields that Pemex will keep is to be unveiled on Wednesday…The energy ministry will also announce which fields will be put up for grabs for foreign and private oil companies in the first round of public tenders, expected to take place next year.
Oil majors are happy to hear this news, as they’ve long eyed Mexico’s oil and gas reserves, which have languished under the control of the state-run firm Pemex, as an opportunity for growth:
“Mexico has created a solid framework to make the energy sector more competitive and attractive to private investment,” said Shell Mexico President Alberto De La Fuente in an emailed response to questions. […]Patrick McGinn, a spokesman for ExxonMobil’s upstream division, said the company welcomes the reform but emphasized that future projects in Mexico will have to compete. “We will pursue potential investment opportunities in Mexico that are competitive with other opportunities around the world,” he said.
This is good news for Mexico, which could finally begin to unlock its reserves of oil and gas trapped in shale, and access offshore fields. This is also a boon for North America, which between Canada, the United States, and now Mexico, is emerging as a global energy supplying juggernaut.