Corporate responsibility paramount to make Mexican energy reforms work

The ink on Mexico’s new energy laws is finally dry, and the biggest names in the industry are exploring how they can revive our southern neighbor’s wilting oil and gas production.

Let’s hope they don’t mess it up.

The nine implementing laws signed last week by President Enrique Peña Nieto formalized the biggest overhaul of Mexico’s energy laws in 75 years. But opposition remains strong to private companies extracting the nation’s oil and gas, refining and selling petroleum products or generating Mexico’s electricity.

The opposition, led by the Party of the Democratic Revolution, considers these changes an affront to Mexico’s sovereignty and is trying to organize a referendum to reinstate the government’s energy monopolies. They are keeping an eagle eye out for any slip-ups that will enable them to repeat history.

Now Nieto wants to accelerate the timeline for allowing foreign companies into Mexico, clearly hoping their investments will invigorate Mexico's economy and help his political standing. But moving too fast could literally be disastrous if strong regulators and safeguards are not in place before drilling begins.
August 16, 2014
Houston Chronicle