HOUSTON — It seems that the disputed status of the Anáhuac non-associated gas field in Nuevo León has been in the hands of the Mexican government since last January when a federal court issued injunctive relief (amparo) in favor of AHMSA, the steel conglomerate that has a coal concession in which the field is located.
During this time, the Energy Ministry (SENER) instructed the Hydrocarbon Commission (CNH) to include the field in the 3rd cycle of Round One. It was not until mid-June when SENER instructed CNH to remove the field from the auction.
By our review of the law, regulations and guidelines pertaining to the rights of the coal concession-holder to exploit coalbed methane there is no ambiguity whatsoever that needs clarification. The government is (again) in the awkward position of having to ask the Supreme Court to be the final arbiter of energy policy in Mexico.
Meanwhile, the ruling is an embarrassment to CNH as it will rightly cause prospective bidders to pause about the legal status of the other onshore fields in the Round One auction.
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