Latin Lawyer project finance conference: Opportunities in Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama

Mexico’s incoming administration has promised to further open up the country’s energy industry to the private sector; while there is a long path to actual reforms companies would do well to position themselves now says Juan Carlos Zepeda of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission, who spoke alongside key project finance players from Mexico, Central America and Panama at a recent conference run by our sister publication Latin Lawyer.Zepeda gave his take on the future of the oil and gas sector in light of Enrique Peña Nieto’s rhetoric about energy reform. He said the new administration is due to present a legal reform to Congress that will target hydrocarbons and most likely electricity too. Making it a reality will be a challenge, he said, because the 2008 reform “pushed the legal framework to the limit to bring private investment to the sector without reforming the constitution”. Zepeda said the anticipated changes – which would require a change to the constitution – would allow for profit sharing in upstream; “I expect constitutional reform to bring private investment to upstream for profit sharing contracts and in downstream, I expect a full opening.”

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