Thompson & Knight has been an active participant in the Mexican energy industry for decades. Through our offices in Monterrey and Mexico City, the Firm represents oil and gas clients across Mexico and around the globe. We have helped our clients participate in many of the groundbreaking projects that led to the opening of Mexico's energy sector and assisted them in analyzing and understanding the business opportunities in a heavily regulated environment.
Our service in Mexico is not limited to the interpretation of the law. We provide our clients legal advice with a business sense and an inside perspective on the particularities of dealing with complex state-controlled entities such as PEMEX (Petróleos Mexicanos) and CFE (Comisión Federal de Electricidad).
Our energy practice in Mexico includes:
- Designing the legal structure for oil, gas, and electric energy projects;
- Mergers and acquisitions;
- Assisting in the day-to-day operations of service or public works contracts, including government filings and regulatory matters;
- Providing counsel and assistance to government-owned companies looking to execute new projects; and
- Promoting the discussion among public and private entities in relation to the evolving Mexican energy industry.
Mexico Energy Reform
On December 12, 2013, the Mexican Congress approved the most ambitious energy reform since the oil industry nationalized in 1938. These changes represent the most historic, transformational, and ambitious energy reform since the oil nationalization in 1938, and Thompson & Knight has been at the forefront in assisting clients navigate these changes and opportunities.
Energy Reform Highlights
- The energy reform promises to fully open Mexico’s oil, gas, and electricity sectors to allow private participation. Pemex will be able to strategically partner with private, public, or state-owned oil and gas companies to explore for, develop, and produce hydrocarbons.
- As a result of Pemex and CFE ("Comisión Federal de Electricidad"), decentralized government entities will be transformed into “Productive State Companies” which will follow the best international corporate practices.
- Although the ownership of hydrocarbons will remain the exclusive property of the Mexican Nation. Pemex will now be allowed to enter into profit sharing agreements, production sharing agreements, license agreements, or others with oil and gas companies as granting instruments.
- This reform will bring in private and international companies to invest in oil, gas, and electricity generation. These international companies will be allowed to bring their technology and capital investment to projects in Mexico.
- Following the landmark Constitutional amendments and after an extensive three-month discussion and approval process in Congress, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced on August 11, 2014 the promulgation of the six secondary laws packages passed by the Mexican Congress last week to implement the most ambitious energy reform in Mexico since the oil industry nationalization in 1938. The secondary legislation includes the following:
- New Hydrocarbons Law;
- Amendments to Foreign Investment, Mining and Public Private Partnerships Law, new Pemex Law, and new CFE Law;
- New laws to regulators National Hydrocarbons Commission (“CNH”) for upstream and Energy Regulatory Commission (“CRE”) for downstream;
- New Law of Hydrocarbons Revenues;
- New Industrial Safety and Environmental Protection for the Oil Industry (known as “ANSIPA”);
- New law that will regulate the Mexican Petroleum Fund;
- Amendments to the Law of Public Works and Related Services and to the Law of Acquisitions, Leases and Services;
- New statute for the exploration and exploitation of geothermal resources; and
- Amendments to the Federal Water Law.