Mexico’s leftist opposition rallies against energy reforms

PRD logoReuters, 3/17/2013

Waving party flags and shouting their support, tens of thousands of leftist party members rallied on Sunday against government plans to overhaul Mexico’s energy sector, a preview of the tough road ahead for President Enrique Pena Nieto’s reform push. Organized by the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, the rally took place on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the nationalization of the country’s oil industry, the historical pivot that gave birth to state oil monopoly Pemex.

Speakers denounced any move to privatize the government-run oil giant, even though Pena Nieto and other members of his centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, have consistently denied any plans to sell or privatize Pemex. “We are being loyal to this historical legacy that has given our oil riches to the nation and we are going to defend it with everything we’ve got,” said Jesus Zambrano, the PRD’s national president, to rousing applause.

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Corruption Network Found in Pemex (Spanish)

120px-PemexExcelsior, 3/7/2013

Authorities from the energy sector in the federal government  informed that  a network of corruption involving companies, contractors, employees, and officials at various levels operates in PEMEX.

Energy officials shared that information with federal legislators and felt that this network of corruption can present a challenge  to energy reform  scheduled for the second half of the year.


Pemex chief hails Mexico as ‘new Mideast’

energy - oil_rigFinancial Times, 2/27/2013

Emilio Lozoya jumps to his feet and marches over to a wall cabinet in his  44th floor office at Pemex’s headquarters in Mexico City. “You see this?” the fresh-faced 38-year-old Harvard graduate, asks, holding  up a glass vial with a pale liquid inside. “That’s pure gold. It’s as good as it  gets.”

Mr Lozoya’s optimism is infectious as he contemplates the high-grade oil  sample which he believes is emblematic of Mexico’s future. To ram home the  point, he produces an investment bank report which describes the hemisphere as  the world’s “new Middle East”. Shale gas production north of the border has already slashed energy costs in  the US, setting the stage for a manufacturing resurgence few imagined only five  years ago. Mr Lozoya believes the same is possible in Mexico.

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Will blast at Mexico oil company shift opinions on privatization?

energy - oil_rigThe Christian Science Monitor, 2/5/2013

A buildup of gas in the basement provoked the explosion that ripped through four floors of Mexico’s state-owned oil company, killing 37 people and injuring more than 100. That’s the latest assessment of the cause of last Thursday’s tragedy at the 52-story tower housing the corporate offices of Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, according to Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam. A spark caused by maintenance workers ignited the gas, the source of which is not yet known, he said.

The explosion comes as Mexico gears up for a heated battle over the fate of Pemex, created when President Lázaro Cárdenas expropriated foreign oil companies and nationalized the industry in 1938. The company remains a powerful symbol of sovereignty, despite also possessing a reputation for corruption and graft.

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Mexican TV Billionaire Salinas Pliego Wants Pemex To Be Privatized

energy - oil_rigForbes, 2/1/2013

Mexico’s energy reform was one of the most talked about issues in last month’s World Economic Forum in Davos. The Mexican delegation, made up of billionaires, top government officials and businessmen, kept the attendees’ interest high. Billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego, who controls the country’s No. 2 television broadcaster, TV Azteca SAB (AZTECA.MX), said he wants Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the state- run oil and gas monopoly with total assets of $415.75 billion, to be privatized.

Speaking at Davos, Salinas Pliego said it was imperative for the Mexican government to open the oil company to the private sector. “I favor the opening of Pemex. I know it’s a very controversial issue because almost 30% of the federal government’s income comes from Pemex,” he said. Mexico’s second richest billionaire called for the oil monopoly to be run with a corporate approach, an independent administrative council and greater transparency, and said he was confident that the new PRI government was committed to breaking up both public and private monopolies.

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Mexico Scraps Sale of State-Owned Sugar Mills on Low Offers

Bloomberg, 4/2/2009

Alberto Cardenas
Alberto Cardenas

Mexico’s government will postpone the sale of 13 sugar mills after rejecting offers that were as much as 70 percent below estimates, said Agriculture Minister Alberto Cardenas. The 13 mills accounted for about 18 percent of the 5.5 million metric tons produced in Mexico last year.

Mexico, which had decided against investing in the mills, wants to sell them to fuel spending in the industry as it seeks to boost production by 13 percent by 2012. Domestic sugar producers want to take advantage of selling sugar to the U.S. after the two countries lifted trade restrictions on the commodity last year.

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