| MEXICO CITY
MEXICO CITY Feb 19 The keenly awaited fine
print that will flesh out a landmark Mexican energy reform will
not require state oil giant Pemex to take minimum stakes in
contracts and will set out national sourcing requirements,
leading lawmakers said on Wednesday.
Mexico's Congress in December approved the reform that ends
Pemex's 75-year monopoly on crude production and aims to attract
significant new streams of private investment into the country's
lumbering oil, gas and electricity sectors.
"Pemex will participate (in future exploration and
production contracts) if it wants to participate," said Marco
Antonio Bernal, who heads the energy committee in the lower
chamber of Congress and belongs to President Enrique Pena
Nieto's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party.
"We're not interested in obligating anyone," he added.
Pemex executives have said privately that they firmly oppose
such a requirement.
Signed into law late last year by Pena Nieto, the energy
reform allows for new contractual options for Pemex as well as
foreign or private oil companies, including production-sharing
contracts and licenses.
The lawmakers also said that the secondary legislation will
spell out national content requirements for the contracts, but
said that the still undefined mechanisms will vary.
"It will depend on the field," said Juan Bueno, a federal
lawmaker in the lower chamber of Congress and an energy
specialist with the conservative National Action Party, or PAN.
He added that national content requirements for deep water
developments may be zero while they would be higher for
contracts in mature fields in which Mexican oilfield service
companies have a much larger presence.
The key portions of the energy reform fine print will be
unveiled by the middle of March, both lawmakers said.
"We are designing a program so that by the first half of
March we will have the first laws that will form the spinal
column for everything else that follows," said Bueno.
Bueno said Mexico's hydrocarbons law, the laws governing
Pemex and national electricity utility CFE, as well as two laws
defining new responsibilities for the country's energy
regulators, will all be presented by mid-March.
Part of a broader collection of more than 20 so-called
secondary laws, the legislation is needed to implement the
constitutional changes approved in December, and must be
approved no later than April 20.
But Bueno said the law that sets new tax rates and royalty
payments for the oil and gas sectors, including the new tax
structure for both Pemex and private or foreign energy
companies, will likely not be considered until September.