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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador threatened on Thursday to publicly name the oil companies which have delayed their promised investments into Mexico’s oil sector.
“The majority of these companies are asking for extensions,” said Lopez Obrador, as carried by Reuters.
The Mexican president, in office since December last year, has repeatedly criticized the energy reform of his predecessor, calling it “a failure.”
Lopez Obrador vowed to hold a “Who’s Who” presentation at one of his regular news conferences.
López Obrador has been a vocal critic of the energy reform of his predecessor Enrique Peña Nieto, who opened in 2013 Mexico’s oil and gas sector to private investment for the first time in seven decades.
Six months into office, the populist left-wing President López Obrador blasted the energy reform as “a failure” and vowed not to call new bidding rounds for foreign oil companies for oil exploration and production in Mexico unless those companies show results, because currently they are not investing and not producing.
Two weeks into office, López Obrador suspended in December 2018 new oil auctions for three years. In June, Mexico’s energy regulator CNH also canceled an auction to pick foreign partners for Mexican state energy giant Pemex scheduled for October.
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Last month, Obrador slammed again the energy sector reform that Nieto enacted when he took office, saying that it failed to result in any increase in oil production but has instead benefited foreign companies.
“If there’s no production from the (energy reform’s) contracts that were given away, we can’t say we’re going to continue giving away concessions,” Lopez Obrador said at the end of September.
At the same time, López Obrador seeks a greater role for Pemex in reversing the downward trend in Mexican oil production and is criticizing the energy reform and the foreign oil firms for failing to do so.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.