Who Runs PEMEX After the Elections?

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 14:22

A few hours before taking o·ce, President Enrique Peña Nieto announced the names of the Energy Minister and Pemex’s CEO, both key positions in his cabinet. Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, appointed Energy Minister, and Emilio Lozoya Austin, Pemex’s CEO, were unexpected choices for both positions, since neither had previous experience in the energy sector. Nonetheless, both men were very close to Peña Nieto during the presidential campaign; Joaquín Coldwell was the PRI’s National President for less than a year, maneuvering the party to electoral triumph and a return to power after 12 years. Lozoya Austin met the President through Luis Videgaray Caso, current Finance Minister, and worked together with both men to secure foreign investment during Peña Nieto’s governorship of the State of Mexico. Later on, Lozoya was the Coordinator of International Linkage and Vice-Coordinator of International A†airs during the transition period.

The relationship between the Energy Minister, Finance Minister, and Pemex’s CEO is evident, and shows Peña Nieto’s strategy to coordinate the three entities, form a common front, and prepare for upcoming challenges. Pemex is governed and regulated by two bodies, the Energy Ministry and the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), and is also directly dependent on the Federal Budget and the policies of the Finance Ministry. One of the key issues that the administration needs to address in the near future is making a clear definition of roles between the Energy Ministry as policymaker, CNH as regulator and enforcer of such policies, and Pemex as operator. Even though these roles were established by the 2008 Energy Reform, the boundaries between each entity are not clearly defined, particularly because the CNH lacks the practical authority to supervise the exploitation and extraction of hydrocarbons.

After the 2012 election, the only major change was the appointment of a new CEO, with none of the directors in charge of the main subdivisions of the NOC changing roles. The board of directors also remained largely unchanged.