Transnational Mercenaries behind Energy Reforms in Mexico

A proposal to increase private investment in Mexico’s hydrocarbons sector has been presented by President Enrique Peña Nieto. The links between former bureaucrats and energy reform are explored in this piece, originally published by Mexican magazine Proceso.


Reminiscent of the privatization plan developed by former Secretary of Finance, Pedro Aspe, during the government of Carlos Salinas, former chief executives of state-owned energy firm Pemex, Luis Ramírez Corzo and ex-Secretary of Energy, Jesus Reyes Heroles were named as ‘key players’ and ‘new financial actors’ in the opening up of the energy sector in Mexico to foreign investment in U.S documents in September 2012.

On the September 13 and 14 financial forecasting expert Alex Murphy presented the document “Strategic FP&A in the Oil & Gas Industry…The Mexico Case” to large oil investors in Boston. His optimistic forecast predicted high revenues and profits for Mexican petroleum companies following an investigation carried out by Pemex in June of that year.

The investigation puts Pemex as number 14 a the list of companies with the highest income revenues in the world with more than 100 billion dollars to its name and at number 13 for its oil reserves. In addition, the report puts Pemex’s annual earning index at 77 billion dollars, discrediting the catastrophic situation described in a presentation by current Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell during the introduction of the energy reform initiative.

Based on this document, financial specialist Murphy reworked a proposal that highlighted Pemex’s high returns compared with foreign companies and advised that in terms of financial strategy, people such as Ramírez Corzo, Reyes Heroles and Aspe would be great allies, the latter is a shareholder in Evercore Partnes investment funds, which acquired 20 per cent of the Diavaz DEP corporation in September 2012.

In the report, that circulated amongst congressmen and North American businesses and acquired by Proceso, Pemex is recorded to have a gross profit margin of 49 billion dollars, more than Exxon’s 16 billion (the biggest oil firm in the world), Royal Dutch Shell’s 15 billion, Chevron’s 18 and the 31 billion dollars that the Brazilian multinational energy corporation Petrobras lays claim to. According to the analysis in the report, only the Norwegian firm Statoil has a higher margin than Pemex, at 50.49 billion dollars.

The Ebitda (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) margin of Pemex, which measures a company’s operating profitability, is 69 billion dollars, four times Exxon’s 16 billion margin, nearly triple that of Petrobras’ 25 billion and higher than the 40 billion dollar Ebitda margin of Statoil. The calculations of EBITA are based on Bloomberg Agency and the audited financial results of Pemex in 2011.

This article was translated from the original report which first appeared in (available at: