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The head of Mexico’s powerful oil regulator abruptly resigns

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MEXICO CITY, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Mexican senators will consider appointing a new head of the country’s powerful oil regulator, according to official statements to lawmakers on Wednesday and Thursday, after the incumbent head abruptly resigned.

National Commission for Hydrocarbons (CNH) President Rogelio Hernandez resigned late last month, long before his seven-year term expires in 2026, Mexico’s interior ministry documents show.

The documents do not provide any reason for Hernandez to leave the post, which has traditionally been independent. Hernandez did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Previously, he was considered an ally of the president.

In a 2020 interview, Hernandez told Reuters that he believes Pemex will quickly try to create new joint ventures with foreign or private companies to attract outside investment and promote additional oil and gas developments.

But since then, Pemex has not looked for the kind of new connections that are common and widely used in the international industry to share the risks and rewards of often very costly projects.

In recent years, CNH has clashed with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has sought to give state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos a preferential role in the country’s energy market.

CNH is required by law to regulate the energy market without playing favorites. In recent months, Pemex has been fined by CNH for failing to meet development plans for priority fields. read more

It was created in 2008 as part of an earlier restructuring of the country’s energy sector, which aimed to increase investment through the creation of new models of oil contracts, as well as the creation of independent regulatory bodies.

Five years later, the Pemex monopoly ended.

CNH evaluates and approves exploration and production plans for Pemex, as well as for foreign and private market participants. He also ran a series of competitive oil auctions before López Obrador canceled them shortly after taking office.

The documents add that senators will now evaluate three potential replacements proposed by López Obrador for their consideration.

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Reporting by Stephanie Eschenbacher and David Alier Garcia; Editing Stephen Coates

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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