Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Ian Goldsmith, Ed Featherston, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

News Feed Item

Former U.S. Ambassador Antonio Garza on Mexico's Energy Reforms

Mexico: An Energy Future

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - December 18, 2013) - Mexico took a giant leap toward a new economic future last week with Congressional passage of a remarkably bold energy reform bill. Both euphoria and hand wringing ensued as Mexico observers and the Mexican people began contemplating the significance to the country of opening its long-protected oil and gas industry.

These emotional reactions, though deeply felt, will soon subside; giving way to the realization that there's much hard work ahead and that the road to reform is long and potentially strewn with obstacles.

But there's every reason to believe that President Enrique Peña Nieto's administration is attuned to the challenges. After all, there's been quite a lot of discussion -- albeit largely of the academic sort -- about how to revamp the sector. And Mexico surely stands to benefit from the examples of previous reform efforts in the hemisphere and beyond, namely in Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Norway.

The measure that emerged from Congress last week barely resembled the initial, cautious, proposal presented in August by the governing Party of the Institutional Revolution (PRI). That middle-of-the-road effort, which would have introduced profit-sharing agreements, was judged unappealing by the foreign firms whose investment and expertise Mexico's energy sector desperately needs to overcome its woes.

And so a new, more transformative piece of legislation was produced by what is known as "the art of political compromise." It's a craft that has been evident throughout Peña Nieto's first year in office, facilitated by the three-party accord known as the Pact for Mexico. But with the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) unwilling to negotiate meaningful change for the energy sector, the Pact inevitably dissolved. The PRI and the conservative National Action Party (PAN) remained at the bargaining table and together produced a reform more far-reaching than many analysts had thought possible. 

The approved legislation reforms Mexico's constitution by ending the oil and electricity monopolies (PEMEX and CFE, the Federal Electricity Commission); allowing private oil companies to explore for and produce oil and gas under a variety of contracts, including services, production or profit-sharing, and licenses; creating a sovereign fund to manage oil revenues; and, revising the nature and governance of the PEMEX board.

It took less than a week for the constitutional changes to be ratified by a majority of state legislatures: 17 of Mexico's 31 states approved the reform within five days of its Congressional passage. Senate recognition of the state actions and the President's signature will soon follow.

The proximate step will be far more challenging: translating constitutional reforms into workable policies. This secondary legislation, also called implementing laws, will stipulate the policy framework and legal processes required to carry out the reform.

These measures are highly anticipated and potentially will set the stage for as much as $20 billion a year in new investment in the sector. They must clarify roles (for all actors in the sector, from private companies and regulators to PEMEX, CFE and other government entities) and establish the mechanisms and procedures by which the country's energy resources will be developed and distributed. Among the details to be addressed are which oil and gas blocs will be developed, when, and under which terms and how costs will be established and recuperated.

Adding to this daunting task is an aggressive time frame stipulated in the reform for developing the follow-on laws and regulations, and pressure from continued political opposition from the left can't be dismissed as a potential complication.

Still, Mexico has taken the crucial first step toward reforming its energy sector. The arduous work of building a framework and policies that can bring Mexico's energy sector into the modern era and enable the country to realize its great economic promise is underway. The excitement of this moment is real, for Mexico and anyone concerned about this hemisphere's future.

Antonio Garza is a former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Counsel in the Mexico City office of White & Case and Chairman of Vianovo Ventures. He can be found online at www.tonygarza.com and on Twitter, @aogarza.

The following files are available for download:

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
As cloud gives an opportunity to businesses to buy services externally – how is cloud impacting your customers? In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Fabio Gori, Director of Worldwide Cloud Marketing at Cisco, provided answers to big questions: Do you see hybrid cloud as where the world is going? What benefits does it bring? And how does Cisco connect all of these clouds? He also discussed Intercloud and Cisco’s investment on it.
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises a...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
Over the years, a variety of methodologies have emerged in order to overcome the challenges related to project constraints. The successful use of each methodology seems highly context-dependent. However, communication seems to be the common denominator of the many challenges that project management methodologies intend to resolve. In this respect, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be viewed as powerful tools for managing projects. Few research papers have focused on the way...
As the world moves from DevOps to NoOps, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. However, applications have been architected with a much tighter coupling than it needs to be which makes deployment in different environments and migration between them harder. The microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, Netflix and so on is at the heart of CloudFoundry – a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS...
In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally. DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.
There is no question that the cloud is where businesses want to host data. Until recently hypervisor virtualization was the most widely used method in cloud computing. Recently virtual containers have been gaining in popularity, and for good reason. In the debate between virtual machines and containers, the latter have been seen as the new kid on the block – and like other emerging technology have had some initial shortcomings. However, the container space has evolved drastically since coming on...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...
Enterprises are fast realizing the importance of integrating SaaS/Cloud applications, API and on-premises data and processes, to unleash hidden value. This webinar explores how managers can use a Microservice-centric approach to aggressively tackle the unexpected new integration challenges posed by proliferation of cloud, mobile, social and big data projects. Industry analyst and SOA expert Jason Bloomberg will strip away the hype from microservices, and clearly identify their advantages and d...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential. The DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo – to be held June 3-5, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City – will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, focused on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud platfo...
How does one bridge the gap between traditional enterprise storage infrastructures and the private, hybrid, and public cloud? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Pollack, Chief Architect of Storage Operations at AOL Inc., examed the workload differences and required changes to reuse existing knowledge and components when building and using a cloud infrastructure. He also looked into the operational considerations, tool requirements, and behavioral changes required for private cloud storage s...