AMLO continues to send mixed signals on energy sector

By
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mexico's left-leaning presidential frontrunner Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has said he would revise existing oil and gas contracts should he win the July 1 election, and he would ask President Enrique Peña Nieto to stop awarding all new private oil contracts.

His remarks, in an interview on the 80th anniversary of the nationalization of Mexico's oil industry, come only a month after the candidate's chief advisor Alfonso Romo said AMLO perceives contracts with private companies for E&P in Mexico as beneficial to the country, and that the auctions held so far were well executed and transparent.

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AMLO (pictured) also hinted in the recent interview that he sees corruption as a central issue in the energy sector.

"We don't want contracts like those of Odebrecht."

AMLO unsettled energy sector investors last year when he pledged to reverse the country's 2014 energy reform, which has allowed for greater investment in the oil and gas and electric power sectors, claiming he would "rescue" the industry, with a hint of nationalization.

His energy proposals also caused concern during the 2012 presidential campaign, the second time the politician from oil-rich Tabasco state ran for president, having previously made an unsuccessful bid in 2006.

Central to AMLO's plans are a push for energy independence, which includes the construction of two new refineries.