U.S. energy investments to be curbed
MEXICO – The American Petroleum Institute (API) denounced that the Mexican government is weakening and discriminating against investments by U.S. energy firms, thus violating the country’s commitments under both the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
API is an organization that represents more than 600 U.S. energy companies doing business primarily in oil and gas.
In a letter from API, addressed to U.S. minister of Energy, Dan Brouillette and minister of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, the organization highlights as one of the discriminatory examples that U.S. companies are experiencing delays, rejections and even restrictions on gasoline and diesel permits from the Mexican Energy Secretariat (Sener).
API added that companies face increasing difficulties in obtaining permits for oil-related activities, third-party storage facilities, imported fuels, liquid terminals and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.
Specifically, those companies that are building new infrastructure, such as new LNG terminals and storage for refined products, are the ones that are experiencing significant delays with respect to infrastructure permits and concessions from Sener, the Safety, Energy and Environment Agency (ASEA), the Ministry of the Environment (Semarnat) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE).
“These examples are actions of discrimination against IPA member companies that are likely to contravene Mexico’s commitments to national treatment investment protection in both the NAFTA and USMCA investment chapters.
“These examples are also likely to contravene Mexico’s commitment to non-discriminatory treatment in the USMCA’s Designated State Enterprises and Monopolies chapter, with respect to Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex),” API said.
In addition, he said that fuel marketing companies are being “undermined” in the fuel markets because the CRE opaquely annulled last year, a regulation applicable to Pemex to reduce the market share of the national oil company which is still over 90%.