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PE Live: Safeguarding Mexican investment

The suspension of licensing rounds may have disappointed the private sector. But international treaties offer crucial protection against further unwinding of the country’s energy reforms

Mexico’s appetite for foreign investment has changed dramatically since the landmark energy reforms that began in late 2013. Bidding rounds opened the door to a wave of IOCs eager to participate in the country’s upstream, ending almost 80 years of state-controlled monopoly. But since the inauguration of President Andres Lopez Obrador in late 2018, operators have faced a very different government stance. Licensing rounds, immediately frozen by Lopez Obrador, are still suspended and his administration remains critical of contracts previously signed with IOCs. Citing energy security concerns, the Lopez Obrador government has promised to maintain restrictions on future licensing rounds until op

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