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Pemex facing potential brain drain - analyst

Bnamericas Published: Friday, October 04, 2013
If international oil companies obtain access to the Mexican oil sector, state-owned firm Pemex could face a potential "brain drain of talent," according to Marcelo Mereles, consultant at Energea and former head of international affairs for the oil giant. "If international companies come to compete, they're going to be looking for local talent and they might start cherry picking Pemex's best," Mereles said at an energy reform event at Mexico City university ITAM. The expert, who led financial analysis of Pemex's investment projects for six years, says the firm does not provide the right incentives for its more than 150,000 workers. "This is a big problem because Pemex cannot offer anything attractive to its employees. [Its] inflexible salary system and inexistent career path policies are going to be no match for international company recruiters," he went on to say. Mereles adds that Pemex's human resource problems are exacerbated by oil workers union STPRM, which leaves even the least productive workers immune to reprimand. In a more open sector, "Pemex is going to have a huge challenge at maintaining its place in the Mexican oil industry because of the human resource factor." John Padilla, director of consultancy IPD Latin America, added that Pemex has also failed to recruit skilled workers from abroad, like many other Latin American NOCs have. "If you take a look at PDVSA, Petrobras and Ecopetrol, all those companies have brought in outsiders to help them out." "This [internationalization] process will have to be turbo boosted to create the kind of development that is required for Pemex."

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