Throughout the past two years, the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) continues to evaluate and further its regulatory improvement strategies. For the first time this year, the CNH’s Consultative Council took place, in which members analyzed Guidelines for Oil Well Drilling, originally published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) in Oct. 2016 and later reformed in Nov. 2017.
In Feb. 2021, CNH launched an open call for external member institutions to join the Consultative Council, which specified that eligibility was dependent on the relevancy that potential candidates had in the energy and academic sectors. Experience with scientific research and technological development centers, consulting as well as overall knowledge and experience in the hydrocarbons' exploratory and drilling industry were valued most.
The meeting was led by Rogelio Hernández Cázares, President Commissioner, CNH, and Néstor Martínez, Commissioner of CNH, who previously served as president as well. Commissioners Alma América Porres and Héctor Moreira also attended the meeting.
Hernández opened the meeting by highlighting how transparency is central to the functioning of the Consultative Council. He added that this council is fundamental to the CNH’s quest to becoming an institutional reference that can provide efficient and trustworthy information on exploratory and drilling activities in Mexico.
Martínez explained that the guidelines were now being discussed because “several areas of improvement have been identified,” which had encouraged members of the Council to issue a revised version. In Martínez’ opinion, CNH’s Council makes for an ideal place to analyze these guidelines, which, in turn, are of mandatory compliance for all oil operators in the country.
The Council’s members commented that the new version will indeed provide more certainty to players in the sector.
The guidelines outline some of CNH’s new objectives. Firstly, it will seek to provide more clarity and efficiency for operators and will try to establish their duties more clearly. CNH also intends to simplify and the requirements for drilling processes, as well as adjust operative provisions so that operators can implement them and engage in better industry practices. Finally, the guidelines emphasize CNH’s commitment to prioritize the integrity of oil fields during drilling processes.
The follow-up procedure for regulatory improvement is the submission of the revised guidelines, so that CNH either accepts or rejects the modifications. Then, the guidelines should be forwarded and delivered to the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement (CONAMER).
As the President Commissioner of CNH, Hernández has previously commented on how open dialogue and feedback have been fundamental to comply with regulatory tasks. In that regard, he applauded the participation of the Mexican Association of Hydrocarbon Companies (AMEXHI), academic specialists and members of the public, all taking part in the Consultative Council and the National Consultative Committee for the Normalization of Hydrocarbons’ Exploration and Extraction.