Mexico's new president elect Andres Manuel López Obrador fiercely opposed the reforms enacted in 2013 that denationalized Mexico's energy sector; though he tempered his criticism of them closer to the July 2018 election day, he was very vocal while on the campaign trail and ran on an anti-corruption platform. Many cross-border energy attorneys do not expect López Obrador to undo the landmark constitutional reforms, however, there is possibility that his administration will slow down the country's overall pace of denationalization.
López Obrador announced plans after his historic win to perform a transparency review of the oil and gas contracts that were signed as a result of the reforms and to legally challenge ones that don't pass. According to Law360, attorneys say this process should be relatively straightforward, but might get complicated by the López Obrador's promising, yet vague, vows to protect Mexico's national interests.
"He has said the Mexican nation could not accept contracts that does not bring a suitable benefit to the nation," said Holland & Knight Partner Jose Antonio Prado, a former legal official with Mexico's energy ministry and the country's state-owned petroleum company Pemex. "It's, frankly, pretty broad."
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