The Supreme Court (SCJN) reiterated Minister Norma Lucía Piña Hernandez’s ruling after the government appealed her decision to suspend a decree from the Minister of Energy (SENER) that private companies needed to acquire natural gas from PEMEX and CFE. The suspension will therefore remain in force until the court issues its final ruling.
As part of SENER’s Supply Guarantee strategy for the optimization of capacity in the Integrated National Natural Gas Transportation and Storage System (SISTRANGAS), it drafted rules to force private companies that use SISTRANGAS to acquire gas exclusively from the state-owned company.
Through the document sent in June 2022 to the National Center for Natural Gas Control (CENAGAS) and CRE, SENER instructed the institutions to implement actions for users of the transportation system to prove they received their gas supply exclusively from CFE or PEMEX. The document urged to “prioritize the observance and renovation of transportation contracts for the users of the SISTRANGAS that prove they have firm or interruptible base contracts with a state company with upstream capacities,” which SENER adopted as a decree.
SENER instructed CRE to “carry out the necessary actions so that the permit holders of the activities under [CRE’s] supervision comply with the energy policy criteria established [in the document].” It also told CENAGAS to ensure a state-owned company supplied natural gas to clients and implement the measures for private companies to prove it.
Almost two weeks later, CENAGAS notified the order for users of SISTRANGAS to present the required evidence, after which the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) presented a constitutional controversy challenge for unfair competition.
Piña Hernández overruled the SENER and CENAGAS instructions and ordered CRE to ignore the order.
The government then presented an appeal against Piña’s resolution. However, the SCJN’s first chamber unanimously voted in favor of Piña Hernández’s suspension, arguing that the government’s arguments had no foundation.