Well, the energy certainly looks closer to the PAN proposal than the first pass from President Peña. Peña’s proposal left all the details to the enabling law; this reform pretty much spells out that the industry is being thrown wide open. Pemex is clearly reduced to just an operator among many. Moreover, there was no sovereign wealth fund in the Peña proposal; now there is one.
The reform keeps a ban on concessions might be meaningful were it not for the fact that the transitory articles refer to “licenses.” Licenses are the what the petroleum industry generally call concessions nowadays. There is no difference and I pity the lawyer who tries to find one.
So what happened? Well, on November 2nd, we wrote, slightly paraphrased, “With PRD support off the table, there are two possibilities. The first is that the PRI holds firm against political reform, but swings right on energy. The second is that the PRI relents on political reform, figuring that it still will have a good shot at the presidency.”
We thought the first to be the less likely outcome ... but that seems to have been what has happened.