Mexico hydrocarbons watch: New CNH head, oil output, hydrogen plant

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, October 27, 2022

After months of uncertainty, Agustín Díaz Lastra has been appointed new head commissioner of Mexico’s hydrocarbons regulator CNH.

Díaz previously served on the board of federal oil and gas giant PemexThe senate opted for Díaz, rather than José Sánchez Pérez, who is the chief administrator of the Tehuantepec isthmus project.

CNH will now be able to hold sessions. It has been unable to do so as only three of seven commissioners have been active, so it lacked the minimum quorum.

CNH’s track record differs substantially from that of electric power regulator CRE. Whereas CRE has become less responsive to private players and has issued several decisions aimed at increasing the market participation of state-owned companies, CNH has maintained autonomy.

Previous CNH head Rogelio Hernández Cázares reportedly had disagreements with the government over the assignment of the Lakach deepwater field, which Pemex seeks to revive through a partnership with New Fortress Energy.


Private oil production grew to 113,000b/d in September, a 7% increase over the previous month, according to CNH.

The output from private projects partially offset a 15,000b/d fall in Pemex production, which posted 1.5Mb/d (million barrels per day), CNH said.

Condensate output also grew by 9,000b/d, leading the overall national total, including condensates, to grow slightly to 1.85Mb/d.

Natural gas output, meanwhile, grew 3% to 4.18Bf3/d.


Pemex will buy back a hydrogen production plant within its Francisco Madero refinery in Tamaulipas that it sold to Linde for US$32.5mn during the previous administration.

The minutes of the latest board meeting show it approved to "bring forth the necessary actions and negotiations to execute the agreement."

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador criticized the sale of the unit repeatedly, as well as that of a similar plant in the Tula refinery in Hidalgo state, during his morning press conferences, suggesting the deals might have had corrupt intent and promising to buy them back.

Pemex’s Q3 results will be published October 28.

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