Over the past two years, the government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has sought to strip away central aspects of the 2013 energy reform that increased private investment in the power sector and return control of the sector to state utility CFE. These moves will reduce needed investment in the sector and lead to higher electricity costs for Mexican industry and manufacturing, affecting employment, trade, and Mexico’s ability to meet its clean energy targets, according to this new report by the Inter-American Dialogue.
2020 has been a tumultuous year for Latin America’s energy sector. The global pandemic has led to a sharp decline in oil demand and prices even as clean energy investments accelerate. With presidential elections around the corner in the United States, the future of US energy diplomacy in the region is unclear. Industry executives, government officials, and corporate representatives convened to discuss the challenges and opportunities in today’s energy markets during the virtual Fourth Annual Energy Conference.
Lisa Viscidi, director of the Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries Program, sat down with Natural Gas World to discuss her recent report, Latin American State Oil Companies: Decarbonization Strategies and Role in the Energy Transition.
Lisa Viscidi, director of the Energy, Climate Change & Extractive Industries Program, spoke with Natural Gas Intelligence’s Adam Williams about recent regulatory changes to Mexico’s energy sector and how they are impacting the country’s natural gas market. They discuss obstacles that could affect the country’s energy sovereignty, investment opportunities, natural gas imports from the United States, and concerns surrounding political risk in the sector.
2019 has been a tumultuous year for South America. In recent months, mass protests have swept across several countries, including major oil and gas producers Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia. Continued political and social turbulence will likely contribute to stagnant oil and gas production growth in these countries. Conversely, Brazil and Guyana are on track to become the region’s largest sources of supply growth.
This event, hosted in collaboration with the Institute of the Americas, aimed to examine the issues facing Mexico’s climate for energy investment across various sectors including power, renewables, oil and natural gas.
Lisa Viscidi, director of the Energy Program, spoke about the production of natural gas in Argentina and the fuel’s role in the country’s energy transition on a panel organized by the Organization of American States’ Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas on December 13.
˙ Organization of American States
2019 marks the first year since new leaders in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico took office. We can now see more clearly the way their policy decisions have affected the energy sector and opportunities for investment. Meanwhile, Argentina holds presidential elections later this month. Venezuela, in turn, faces a worsening economic crisis as oil production plummets. Industry experts, government officials, and corporate representatives convened to discuss these issues and their regional impacts on October 2 at the Inter-American Dialogue.
Brazil has vast oil reserves, but can the Bolsonaro government get the energy to market? Lisa Viscidi tells Richard Miles of CSIS that reforms are already in place that will enable oil production “to take off.” The real obstacles are the financial stability of Petrobras, the shaky state oil conglomerate, and the monopoly that the state has on most aspects of energy production, delivery, and even retail sales.
Lisa Viscidi, Richard Miles
˙ Center for Strategic & International Studies
Revitalizing Brazil’s energy sector will be key to Jair Bolsonaro’s success as president – but so far, he’s had mixed results when it comes to getting reforms through Congress. Unless Bolsonaro learns to work with legislators and ease turbulence within his government, Brazil’s missing energy reforms will continue to threaten its economy, and its politics.
Just as Pemex bonds suffered a downgrading to junk status by Fitch, Lisa Viscidi, director of the Energy Program, sat down with Nathaniel Parish Flannery of Forbes to discuss the state of Mexico’s energy sector, including oil and gas, regulators, and renewables, seven months into the AMLO administration.
The development of energy resources is an integral component of many of Latin America’s economies, from established producers like Colombia and Brazil to newcomers to the global energy market like freshly oil-rich Guyana. However, policymakers and energy companies throughout the region must devise solutions to a variety of fiscal, political, social, and environmental hurdles to ensure successful and sustainable projects, explained speakers at an Inter-American Dialogue event on May 10.
Regulators and private companies will continue to play important roles in the development of Mexico’s energy resources despite President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s focus on strengthening state-owned companies and enhancing “energy sovereignty” by reducing dependence on energy imports from the United States. This was the key message from speakers at “La nueva política energética de México,” an Inter-American Dialogue event in Mexico City.
Mexico’s 2013 energy reform has led to pledges of almost $200 billion of private investment and renewable power auctions garnering bids to provide electricity at record-low prices. The Mexican government should continue to build on the successes of the reform, César Hernández, former Mexican undersecretary for electricity, and Jorge Castilla, managing director for Mexico at Accenture, said at an event hosted by the Inter-American Dialogue, the Embassy of Mexico, and the Energy Policy Research Foundation.