In 2013, the energy reform took place, which meant the opening of the sector to national and foreign investment, generating competitive markets throughout the hydrocarbons and electricity value chain. Although its main objective was the development of the oil industry – seeking a development in required exploration and extraction infrastructure – it also promoted the generation of clean energy and electric power, promoting development with social responsibility and environmental protection.

The most visible change brought by the Energy Reform was the arrival of more than 50 new brands of gas stations that today compete with PEMEX, among which we can mention Eni , Total, Shell, and DEA Deutsche Erdoel . Likewise, there are more than a hundred companies that try to participate in the different links of the oil chain: exploration, extraction, transport, and logistics. In collaboration with these companies, the first crude oil finds have been obtained in shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico. And as for the electricity industry, 42 companies are looking to build new plants in 19 entities in the country that, it is estimated, will have a capacity to generate up to 7.6 megawatts  . Likewise, 213 projects focused on clean energies have been contemplated. These include solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and biomass projects. It is expected that by 2024 43% of electricity in the country will come from clean sources.

According to data from the Energy Secretariat (SENER), as of March 2018, the energy reform had triggered public and private investments of more than 200,000 million dollars. If this degree of investment continues, it is expected that in the next 5 years the energy industry in Mexico will demand more than 200,000 jobs specialized in digitization, advances in the use of machinery, equipment and industrial processes, according to Pedro Borda’s data. , former executive president of the Mexican Association in Human Resources Management. In order to meet this demand, Mexico should emphasize that universities provide trained professionals in these areas.

However, with the entry of the new government, the so-called energy reform has been one of the most exposed to facing changes. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador mentioned in recent days that those who promoted the energy reform made an error, which has generated speculation about its future and, although the reform has not been halted, the tenders for the exploration of fields were halted petroleum Also, the federal administration reported that it is reviewing projects for alleged corruption practices. The policies implemented by the current government suggest a possible cancellation of the energy reform, which could have significant consequences because, according to experts, it is difficult for Mexico to continue to have the level of investment that it has maintained without it.

On the other hand, the cancellation of the New Mexico International Airport and the downgrade of PEMEX’s credit rating by Fitch alert investors to the conditions prevailing in Mexico for the private sector. As mentioned by José Enoch Castellanos, next president of the National Chamber of the Transformation Industry (CANCINTRA), Mexico can not afford to turn back the energy reform since there is a latent risk of falling into shortage of gasoline, gas natural, LP gas and even electric power. Thus, Mexico would not have the viability in the short term to provide the demand for energy without the support of private initiative.

Added to this, a plan to rescue PEMEX was announced, which consists of an injection of resources to the oil company for 107 MMDP and a fiscal incentive for 15 MMDP. This plan was considered “insufficient” by banks and rating agencies such as BBVA Bancomer, Citi Banamex, Fitch Ratings and JP Morgan, who concluded that the measures taken by the president will help the company not to increase its debt, but will not It will help to increase the company’s production or to make it efficient or profitable.

Internationally, the picture is complicated since the World Trade Organization pointed out that world trade in goods has been at its lowest level in nine years , representing a slowdown in the global economy;    the  trade war between the USA and China has hit expectations of global economic growth, shaken financial markets and disrupted manufacturing supply chains. Added to this persists, the uncertainty surrounding the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union; the British economy is the fifth largest in the world and the damage to international finances of the Brexit is still unclear. That is, the economic environment is extremely uncertain in the medium term, which leads us to the question: How can Mexico face this global uncertainty if we block investment in the key sectors for our growth, such as energy?

We are facing a scenario where investment looks weak and the slowdown of the global economy will impact the Mexican economy. In order to face this situation, it is necessary for the government to consider the financial realities of the oil company, the world economic system and the international conditions of the sector. Otherwise, where will the energy companies come from to maintain the industrial sector and encourage investment?


Political Risks can help your company is better prepared for legal or regulatory changes that mean the cancellation of structural reforms, write to info@riesgospoliticos.com.mx .


Photo by Raul Petri on Unsplash

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