Mexico moving ahead with energy market reforms, official says
Mexico began the process of undoing its 75-year-old energy monopoly in 2013, but the subsequent crash in oil prices hindered the process and the international investments.
Fast-forward four years, and Mexican officials believe the country’s oil and gas sector is poised to finally take off now that oil prices have partially recovered and most of the governmental regulations are in place, said Aldo Flores Quiroga, Mexico’s undersecretary of hydrocarbons, speaking Monday at the Offshore Technology Conference at Houston’s NRG Park.
Mexico didn’t let the oil bust hinder reforms aimed at opening its energy markets to competition and foreign investment, Flores Quiroga said.
“What that means is we’re doing this because it makes sense regardless of the price of oil,” he said. “It is indeed a challenge, but our commitment – from what you can tell from how we’re marching forward – is very strong.”
Apart from offshore exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, 2017 also is seeing the first international investments in retail fuels. BP in March opened the first gas station in 80 years in Mexico that isn’t under the Pemex banner. Pemex is short for Petróleos Mexicanos, the state-owned energy company that held the monopoly for more three-quarters of a century.
The BP station attracted a lot of attention in a short time, Flores Quiroga acknowledged.
“The lines of people to buy gasoline are very long – about a mile long,” he said. “People are willing to try what’s different.”