This week Reuters in an exclusive story entitled, “Mexico’s new government may halt oil auctions indefinitely – document” reported that Mexico was considering suspending its oil and gas auctions.

The Reuters story’s lead paragraph reads as follows:

“MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s incoming government is considering indefinitely suspending auctions for oil and gas projects, and giving state-owned Pemex authority to pick its own joint-venture partners rather than holding competitive tenders, according to policy guidelines seen by Reuters.”

However, a fact checking call between Oil & Gas 360®’s energy reporting staff and CNH—Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), Mexico’s national hydrocarbons regulating body—led to a conversation with Oscar Roldan Flores, the executive in charge of managing Mexico’s oil and gas auctions.

On a phone interview with Oil & Gas 360®, Flores gave his thoughts and a descriptive update, essentially reversing the claim that a new Mexican oil & gas policy exists.

According to Flores, the document provided to Reuters was not official policy, but something provided by a person seeking a position at Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company.

“The Mexican Ministry of Energy is the only government body that has the authority to decide the country’s energy policies, launch bidding rounds and the like,” Flores said.

Once bidding rounds are launched, Flores’ staff at CNH manages all the activity from the beginning announcement to awarding contracts, technical management, and supervision of all exploration activities.

Flores said the document that Reuters is referencing was proposed by someone who was attempting to be appointed to a PEMEX position. He said it is not an official government document. “The document contains no validity of any kind regarding a new energy policy in Mexico,” Flores said.

Background

After eight decades of oil and gas development and production under state control by Mexico’s national oil company Petróleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, in 2014 Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto opened the oil and gas sector to foreign investment. The country launched a series of oil and gas lease auctions, opening oil and gas development in Mexico to outside companies starting in 2015.

There have been four bid rounds on exploration acreage in shallow waters, deep waters, onshore, and already discovered reserves. The final two rounds of the third phase of bidding will take place in February 2018 for onshore gas, and unconventional oil.

 


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