Mexico’s Oil Reform: Looking for Metrics of Success

George Baker, Ph.D., Contributing Expert and Scholar, Mexico Center

Issue Brief 03.17.14 — Reprinted: RICE UNIVERSITY’S BAKER INSTITUTE

Mexico’s 2013–2014 energy reform promises to bring the country’s economic drivers and regulatory institutions in line with the global practices of free market democracies. If successful, this development would be a 180-degree turn. The accomplishment of such realignment is hardly assured, however, because of endogenous political, institutional, and legal constraints that could openly defeat the aims of energy reform or quietly subvert them, even under the guise of success. Energy reform must be coherent with the global oil industry; its success must be measured by the amount and composition of investors who believe in Mexico’s resources, public oversight institutions, and rule of law. Success will also be measured by how far energy reform goes in transforming Mexico’s national oil company (NOC) into an enterprise that is competitive outside of Mexico. If energy reform leaves a stay-at-home NOC, it will not have been worth the effort.

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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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