As the López Obrador government celebrates its first anniversary, the energy sector continues to be a critical area for understanding the administration’s broader goals and policymaking. A central campaign promise to reduce fuel imports and construct a new refinery, the Dos Bocas project in Tabasco, continues apace and is frequently the subject of the president’s morning press conferences complete with data downloads and updates from the project site.
Additionally, reasserting the primacy of Pemex and CFE and the role of each firm in the nation’s energy sector has been at the center of much of the national discourse. The international investor response has been mixed with notable credit downgrades and less-than-bullish reviews of the Pemex business plan. While the López Obrador administration has been clear that it will not move forward with any additional oil and gas auctions until at least the halfway mark of its term, there has been activity in the upstream with important acquisitions, farm-ins and other deals materializing.
Meanwhile, developments in the electric sector and possible clean energy auctions, both government-led and privately organized, have been the source of interest and debate. The market continues to mature and the Secretary of Energy indicated in September that the fourth long-term power auction may be held before the end of the year which would bring needed certainty to understanding where renewable energy fits in the outlook for the sector.
Each December, the Inter-American Dialogue and the Institute of the Americas collaborate to host a discussion of energy issues and the outlook for the sector in the Western Hemisphere. This year’s discussion will be aimed at examining the issues facing Mexico’s energy sector.