Market Comment 074: How the Anáhuac field got dropped from the 3rd cycle of Round One

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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Written by

George Baker

Baker & Associates offers niche-market business and policy intelligence related to Mexico's oil and gas, power and chemical industries. Over 1,000 reports have been issued in the last 20 years. Subject matter expert and publisher George Baker, who directs the firm, has carried out consulting assignments starting in the late 1970s at the height of the Oil Boom in Mexico. He brings bilingual and bicultural skill-sets to understanding and responding to challenges of business and public policy, coupled with a deep familiarity with the history and idiosyncrasies of the Mexican operating environment.

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