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Mexican Energy Reform: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

Mexico adopted Constitutional changes in December, 2013 enabling fundamental reforms to its energy industry. Since then, Mexico passed new legislation, revised and expanded the roles of regulatory agencies, published regulations, and promulgated procedures to implement the reforms contemplated by those changes. In designing these reforms, Mexico took into account the successes and failures of other countries’ efforts to attract foreign and local investment. Goals include expanding and modernizing Mexico’s energy infrastructure, promoting manufacturing and export operations, fostering innovation and investment in technology and lowering energy costs to industrial and residential customers. The reforms directly impacted two sectors: oil & gas and power (electricity). In the discussion that follows, we review some of the more relevant trends, challenges and opportunities in light of the reform. 

Organizational Changes 

The reforms have already transformed governmental entities regulating the industry. The Ministry of Energy (SENER) was strengthened to determine the overall energy policy. The Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) and the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), as regulators, now have technical, operational and administrative independence, but must follow SENER’s stated objectives. The National Natural Gas Center (CENAGAS) became the independent manager and administrator of the National Natural Gas Transportation and Storage System (SISTRANGAS). The National Center for Energy Control (CENACE) became the independent grid operator and governmental authority overseeing the new wholesale electricity market.

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