Jose Antonio Meade on Combating Poverty in Mexico

2/11/16 Harvard Political Review

13317170344_3f13f47d5c_oHarvard Political Review: In the last five years, you have been in four different Secretary positions—Energy, Finance, Foreign Affairs, and now Social Development. What is next? What is the biggest challenge for you in 2016?

Jose Antonio Meade: I believe public service is a vocation, a vocation that has a path and a journey. And many times, in politics as well as in life, what matters is the journey. If one is preoccupied with the final destination, one runs the risk of not only losing focus on the journey but of not enjoying or taking advantage of it, even deviating from the said journey. That, for me, as a life lesson has always been important. Today, who I am, is the secretary of social development, a fascinating institution, an institution that allows me to touch lives and to transform the stories of families. I hope that what is next is a remembrance of good management of the secretariat [of social development].

Read More…

What next for Pemex?

2/9/2016 Forbes.com

By Duncan Wood, Director of the Mexico Institute

Pemex LogoThe news that Emilio Lozoya, CEO of Mexican National Oil Company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) would be stepping down came as no great surprise to many observers of Mexican oil politics. The company has been in deep trouble for over a decade now and, although Lozoya only took over 3 years ago, he has been able to do little to stem the tide of bad news during his tenure at the top of the organization. From a high point in crude oil production in 2004 of 3.4 million barrels per day (bpd), Pemex now only produces around 2.2 million bpd, and that total is predicted to fall further in the coming months. Combined with the low oil price internationally, that means a lot less revenue for Pemex, but more importantly, less fiscal revenue for Lozoya’s political bosses in the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto. Mexico’s government has depended on oil for up to 35% of its revenue over the past decade, but with lower prices and lower production, that total has fallen closer to 20%, leaving a growing gap in the federal budget, that has been covered by cutting spending in infrastructure projects and government salaries and services.

The money problem afflicting Pemex has largely been caused by successive Mexican governments treating the NOC as a cash cow, and the truth is that the company has been milked to death. This year’s cuts in the Pemex budget and the calls for layoffs are only the latest manifestation of a long-running abuse of the company by the Mexican federal government. But the decline in Pemex and government revenues is only one part of the unholy trinity of problems that has been afflicting the NOC in recent years.

Read more…

Mexico Names New Heads of Pemex, Health, Social Security

2/8/2016 ABC News

120px-PemexA U.S.-educated economist took up the reins of state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos in one of several Cabinet changes announced Monday by President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya was sworn in as head of the oil company better known as Pemex, which has been hit hard by the plunge in global crude prices as Mexico embarks on an ambitious overhaul of its energy sector.

He replaced Emilio Lozoya, who had been at the post since 2012. Lozoya’s tenure was marked by an explosion at Pemex headquarters that killed 37 people in January 2013, shortly after he took office, and rising fuel thefts from Pemex pipelines.

Read more…

Mexican President urges UN to reform Security Council, step up action against world drug problem

World Politics Review 9/24/2015

energy - oil_rigEarlier this month, the Mexican government submitted a budget to cut spending in 2016, including reduced investment in the state oil company Pemex, given the drop in global oil prices. In an email interview, Amb. Antonio Garza, former U.S. ambassador to Mexico and currently counsel in the Mexico City office of White & Case LLP, discussed Mexico’s economy and the impact of the oil shock.

WPR: How have declining oil revenues affected Mexico’s budget and spending power?

Antonio Garza: Historically, Mexico has relied on oil revenues to fund roughly one-third of its budget. This arrangement was fairly stable when oil prices were high, but as prices began plummeting last summer, so did the amount of money coming into government coffers, amounting to a roughly 36 percent year-on-year decrease for the first six months of 2015. The drop was steep, but things weren’t as bad as they could have been. Certain policies and outcomes—such as the government’s widespread hedging program, an uptick in non-oil taxes from the 2013 fiscal reform and a revenue surplus from the gasoline price cap—certainly helped lessen the budgetary pressure.

Read more… 

Mexico making changes to lure private oil producers

9/20/2015 San Antonio Express News

energy- oil pumps 2Mexico has changed some rules in hopes of better results as it moves forward with historic privatization of its oil industry, but the revisions haven’t quelled fears that the overhaul is intended more to fill government coffers than to build a free market energy industry.

A government-run auction in July offering private companies the first chance in more than 75 years to own Mexican oil and gas failed when only a few producers showed interest.

Regulators shifted the bidding requirements and fiscal terms to sweeten a second auction scheduled for Sept. 30, but that might not be enough to pique extensive investor interest in a time of slumping oil prices.

Read more…

THIS THURSDAY: Second Annual North American Energy Forum

mainWHEN: Thursday, September 17, 9:00am-1:00pm

WHERE: 6th Floor Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP. 

The Mexico and Canada Institutes of the Woodrow Wilson Center are pleased to invite you to the Second Annual North American Energy Forum.

9:00 am – Welcome
Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute
Laura Dawson, Director, Canada Institute, Wilson Center
9:10 am – The Outlook for the Oil and Gas under Low Prices
Moderator: Jan Kalicki, Wilson Center Energy Fellow
Speakers: 

Marco Antonio Cota Valdivia, Director General of Exploration & Extraction of Hydrocarbons, Ministry of Energy
Sara Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS
Shirley Neff, Senior Advisor, U.S. Energy Information Administration
Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

Issues:
• The outlook for North American oil and gas production
• Mexico’s oil and gas reform
• Canada’s oil sands after Keystone and low prices

10:30 am – Keynote Addresses

Cesar Hernandez Ochoa, Mexican Under-Secretary of Energy for Electricity
Amos J. Hochstein, Special Envoy, Bureau of Energy Resources

11:30 am – Coffee and Snack Break

11:45 am – North American Electricity Futures
Moderator: Laura Dawson, Director, Canada Institute

Speakers:
Patrick Brown,  Director of US Affairs, Canadian Electricity Association
John Renehan, Director of Strategy, GE Power and Energy
Eduardo Andrade, Corporate Director, Iberdrola Mexico
Rafael Fernandez
Henry Gentenaar, Managing Partner,  MegaSolar

Issues:
• The development of Mexico’s electricity market
• Linking the region’s electricity grids and markets
• New technologies and ideas
• Smart grids and distributed generation

1:00 pm – Event Concludes

Click here to RSVP.

Mexico to slash spending by $5.8bn

9/9/2015 Financial Times

energy- oil pumps 2Mexico plans to cut spending by another $5.8bn in 2016, finance minister Luis Videgaray said on Tuesday, after its economy was buffeted by tough global economic conditions and especially the drop in oil prices.

A 2016 budget package, which he submitted to Congress, reduces spending by 1.15 per cent of gross domestic product compared with the 2015 package — a total of 221bn pesos ($13bn). Mr Videgaray said that more than half of the budgetary belt-tightening had already happened — amid falling oil prices, Mexico’s main budgetary problem, the government announced a pre-emptive 124bn peso austerity drive in January.

Read more…