Pemex board headed by 'supercouncillors'

Mexico's Pemex inaugurated its new board of directors, adding four newly created positions and raising the number of its members to 15 from 11 in line with national oil policy reforms enacted last year.

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, May 19 -- Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) inaugurated its new board of directors, adding four newly created positions and raising the number of its members to 15 from 11 in line with national oil policy reforms enacted last year.

The four new positions, referred to as supercouncillors, have been filled by Fluvio Ruiz Alarcon, Rogelio Gasca Neri, Hector Moreira Rodriguez, and Jose Fortunato Alvarez Enriquez.

The additions are in response to a national energy reform bill passed in 2008 by Mexico's congress to step up Pemex's oil production without surrendering public ownership of the state firm.

According to a joint statement by Pemex and the Secretaria de Energia (Sener), the role of the new board members is to "guide Pemex in accordance with the best corporate practices of the oil industry." Any initiatives must win at least two votes from the four new supercouncillors, all of them chosen for their professional knowledge in the oil industry.

Ruiz Alarcon, who served as an advisor to leftist Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD) during the energy reform debates of 2008, has degrees in physics and in oil production engineering.

Gasca Neri who holds a degree in chemical engineering and extraction industries and served as Mexico's deputy planning and budget secretary, deputy spending minister, deputy infrastructure minister, and chief executive of state power company CFE.

Moreira Rodriguez, a former member of the Pemex board, also served as Mexico's deputy hydrocarbons minister and deputy energy planning and technological development minister, and was Mexico's representative in the 2005 and 2006 OPEC meetings. He holds a degree in chemical sciences and chemical engineering and a doctorate in chemistry.

Alvarez Enriquez has a degree in public accounting and was chief of the public administration ministry's government audit unit; he also served as head of Pemex's internal control body.

In addition the Pemex board is comprised of six government ministers and five members from the oil union Sindicato de Trabajadores Petroleros de la Republica Mexicana (STPRM).

Government members include Energy Minister Georgina Kessel, Finance Minister Agustin Carstens, Economy Minister Gerardo Ruiz, head of President Felipe Calderon's office Patricia Flores, Social Development Minister Javier Cordero, and Public Administration Minister Salvador Vega. STPRM members of the board are Ricardo Aldana, Fernando Pacheco, Jorge Wade, Hector Sosa, and Pedro Garcia.

At their first meeting, the board formed seven committees, each headed by one of the four supercouncillors that will oversee different aspects of Pemex. The board also approved Sener's chief of legal affairs Alejandro Fleming as secretary of the board and Pemex's technical secretary Raoul Capdevielle as vice secretary.

In April, Pemex Exploration & Production (PEP) recorded an output of 2.67 million b/d for the first quarter of 2009, down 7.78% compared with the first quarter of 2008. Output for 2009 is projected to reach 2.75 million b/d.

Earlier, PEP General Manager Carlos Morales Gil said the firm is formulating a plan to ramp up exploration in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and involve international and national oil companies in the process (OGJ Online, May 6, 2009).

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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