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Mexico's new watchdog reins in its Pemex oil monopoly

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

For seven decades, Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil monopoly and a mainstay of the government’s revenue, regulated itself — which is a polite way of saying it could do pretty much as it pleased.

The company’s safety procedures went largely unscrutinized as it joined the oil majors drilling in deepwater areas of the Gulf of Mexico. And the company faced no serious consequences for not keeping its promises to raise output or operate more efficiently.

But in the last few years, that has begun to change. The tiny National Hydrocarbons Commission, created by the Mexican Congress in 2008 to increase regulatory oversight of the company, is proving to be a surprisingly sharp thorn in Pemex’s side.

Source: New York Times