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Capital Markets

Mexican energy reforms: The test for Pemex

Long seen as a proxy for Mexico, oil company Pemex faces new challenges after the implementation of President Peña Nieto's landmark energy reforms. If senior management can meet them, it could be the start of a long road to the eventual IPO of one of the world's most powerful energy firms.

 Reforms could be start of the long path to the IPO of Pemex. Source: Pemex. Photo: José Luis Luna

For the first time in 76 years, Mexico’s oil and gas industries are being opened up to private companies, thanks to the government’s energy reforms. President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the new energy law – the standout legislation of a plethora of far-reaching, systemic reforms from the 20-month old administration – on August 11.

Far beyond the reform of the financial sector, telecommunications and education, it is the most important (and probably the most politically sensitive and difficult to implement) step towards achieving the president’s vision for Mexico.

Two days later, on August 13, the government announced the results of ‘Round Zero’ – the first phase of those energy reforms, which outlined the oil reserves (current and future) that would be allocated to Pemex, and determined which would be scheduled for future auctions (the first of which will be auctioned in ‘Round One’ in the first half of next year).

Round Zero had been scheduled for September; the date was brought forward to two days after the reform’s promulgation in a clear indication of the urgency that the president is placing on moving swiftly into the implementation and execution stage.