September 28, 2018 / 10:56 PM / 2 months ago

Mexico's oil regulator backs Pemex picking its own partners

ACAPULCO, Mexico, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Mexico’s oil regulator supports a proposal to allow state-run oil company Pemex to pick its own equity partners for exploration and production projects, the head of the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) said on Friday.

Aides to President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a fierce critic of a four-year-old energy reform, have said the new government will seek to allow Pemex to select the companies it ties up with for oil and gas projects.

The reform required competitive auctions conducted by the CNH to select Pemex’s joint venture partners.

“I agree (that Mexico’s national oil company picks its partners),” said CNH President Juan Carlos Zepeda at an oil conference in the Pacific beach resort of Acapulco.

“I think its good... but what we have to demand and what needs to be established in law is that Pemex does this with at least the same transparency standards that the National Hydrocarbons Commission has used,” he added.

The current selection process in Mexico is rare in oil producing countries, in which national companies are generally free to choose their partners to better suit their own strategies. (Reporting by David Alire Garcia and Marianna Parraga; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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