President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) reaffirmed former PEMEX insider Rocío Nahle as his choice to be Minister of Energy and named the chief clerk during his time as governor of Mexico City, Octavio Romero, to head up PEMEX. AMLO officially announced the nominations at a news conference in Mexico City last week.
At the same time, AMLO outlined a four-point plan to realize his vision for the country’s energy industry, in line with his Nation Project 2018-2024:
Accelerate oil and gas production pace. Greater autonomy in hydrocarbons production is the spearhead of AMLO’s energy policy for Mexico. The president-elect highlighted the urgency of increasing the country’s oil and gas production from its current 1.8 million b/d to 2.5 million b/d, tied to a MX$75 billion investment in E&P activities.
Revitalize refining. AMLO said that Mexico’s six refineries are operating at 30 percent of their installed capacity and called for an urgent overhaul to reach full capacity by 2020. To do so, AMLO plans to invest MX$49 billion to modernize the existing refineries.
Build a new refinery. Paraiso, Tabasco is the president-elect’s prefered location to build a new refinery with a three-year MX$160 billion investment to decrease the country’s dependency on hydrocarbons imports.
Increase Mexico’s electricity production. The president-elect plans to modernize and strengthen CFE’s power plants that were scheduled for closing, starting with hydroelectric plants and estimating a MX$20 billion investment by 2019.
AMLO also took the opportunity to announce his nominations to lead the country’s energy institutions, in charge of drafting the policies and vision of the President-elect, as well as to lead Mexico’s Productive Companies.
FILLING KEY POSITIONS
During the news conference, AMLO made know his nominations for key energy posts. Here is an outline of the main names and what they bring to the table:
Rocío Nahle, Minister of Energy
Rocío Nahle is a Deputy in the 63rd legislature, coordinator of Morena’s parliamentary group within the Senate and Secretary of the Senate’s Energy Commission. Prior to be name Energy Minister, Nahle ran for the upcoming 64th legislature and won a seat as senator. She is a member of the Latin-American Parliament (Parlatino) of the Mexican Senate’s Energy Commission and acted as a legislative adviser in the Chamber of Deputies for the 59th and 61st legislatures, as well as the Senate’s 62nd legislature. Nahle also participated in the debates surrounding the 2008 and 2013 Energy Reforms.
With a degree in chemical engineering and a petrochemical specialization from the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Nahle made a professional career working in PEMEX’s petrochemical complexes in Cangrejera, Pajaritos and Morelos. Her roles included process engineering at industrial plants, quality control and analysis, as well as management and finance. Nahle is a member of the National Energy Studies Committee (CNEE), the 1917 Constitution PEMEX Engineers group, the Energy Studies Institute of the Workers of Latin America and the Caribbean (IEETALC). She has also authored several articles on the oil and gas industry.
Alberto Montoya, Deputy Minister of Energy
Academic fellow of the Iberoamerican University and President of the Center of National Strategic Studies (CEEN) Alberto Montoya was confirmed as the new administration’s choice for Deputy Minister of Energy. He holds a communications degree from the Western Superior Studies Technological Institute (ITESO), a Masters’ degree in communication and a Ph.D in public policy, both from the Stanford University.
Octavio Romero, Director General of PEMEX
Former Chief Clerk of AMLO’s administration as Mexico City’s governor during the 2000-2005 period, Romero was appointed Director General of PEMEX. His political career dates back to 1994, when he was elected to the Congress on the PRD ticket. He served until 1997. From 1994 to 1999, he also acted as national counselor for the PRD. He competed for the seat of Tabasco’s Centro municipality in 1997 and 2016, the former with PRD and the latter with Morena, losing both times. He holds an agricultural engineering degree from the Superior College of Tropical Agriculture of Cardenas, Tabasco.
Manuel Bartlett, Director General of CFE
Manuel Bartlett is a tenured politician, serving as Minister of the Interior from 1982 to 1988 under President Miguel de la Madrid. Bartlett also served as Minister of Education from 1988 to 1993 under President Salinas de Gortari, and Governor of the state of Puebla from 1993 to 1999. In 2012, his long-standing PRI party affiliation ended and he began legislative work for Mexico’s Labor Party (PT). He serves as coordinator of PT’s parliamentary group in the Senate. Bartlett holds a law degree from UNAM, as well as a Masters’ degree and Ph.D in political science, from the same university.
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