THIS CONFERENCE CELEBRATES (and quoting from the program’s title) “the Big Opportunity represented by the New Mexican Energy Model.” Speakers include public officials and industry leaders, whose names are so familiar in Mexican oil circles as to not require individual mention.
Other speakers include the governors of the States of Tamaulipas and Campeche, an energy analyst from the IEA, an assistant director of OECD, the president of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), a former Energy Minister, the chief economist of the Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, in addition to the head of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), plus prominent consultants, attorneys and representatives of oil companies such as Sierra Oil, among others.
Of special interest will be the presentation by Ernesto Borda, of the consultancy Trust, which specializes in human rights issues. Of equal interest will be the views of Octavio Pastrana, who serves as the sole Colombian member of Pemex’s board of directors. His remarks will have extra weight for his being the only representative of Pemex at the convention.
The importance of this event may be appreciated by students of Mexican history who recall that it echoes the name of the Constitutional Convention of 1917. It was at that convention in Querétaro a century ago that the controversial nationalization of mineral rights was mandated in Article 27 of the constitution that would be promulgated on February 5th of that year.
The Energy Reform of 2013-14 represents a Mexican half-step back from that nationalization in relation to hydrocarbons: although hydrocarbons in situ still belong to the State, commercial rights to production may awarded to public and private parties by means of a public auction.
The venue of the conference is the former Academia Real de Minas, a magnificent palace located in the heart of the Historical District, the 20-year construction of which began in 1793, and today is a museum. This tourist attraction also serves as the office of the Colegio de Ingenieros Petroleros de México (CIPM).
It may be premature to conjecture that one of the take-away messages from this unique conference will be that Mexican voters would be wise to strengthen the mandate of the energy reform beyond the term of the present administration which ends in 2018. In the meantime, AMEXHI will continue to serve as a valuable interlocutor not only between the oil industry and the government but also serve as a promotor of the energy reform.
The government’s recognition of the vital role of AMEXHI as a singular spokesperson of the business platform for the hydrocarbon sector is evidenced by the participation in the program of senior officials, including the Undersecretary of Industry and Commerce of the Ministry of Economy and the General Director of Economic Productivity of the Finance Ministry, among other well-known figures in this administration whose names appear prominently in the program.