Meet the members

Oscar Roldán Flores, Head of the National Data Repository, CNH

February 2017

How did you come to be in the energy industry?

It happened in 2006 when received an invitation to work in the Ministry of Energy to start defining a possible reform in the hydrocarbons sector. Since 1938, México had a totally closed sector with our National Oil Company (Pemex) as the only company in charge of the exploration, extraction and transformation of hydrocarbons in the country. In 2004, Pemex reached peak production at 3.3 million barrels of oil per day (positioning our country within the top 5 producers in the world) and fiscally contributed with 40% of the total income of the government. 

Even though there were clear signals that the hydrocarbon sector in México was declining, the chances of doing such a change were very low. Anyways, the need was clear, at some point our country will need a transformation, so finally I decided to move from the research area in the pension funds sector to the energy sector in 2007.

What is your proudest work-related achievement to date?

Developing the National Data Repository of México and open all the subsurface information generated by Pemex and private companies before 1938; more than 100 years of information are at available: portal.cnih.cnh.gob.mx

What are your top 3 responsibilities at CNH?

a)    Store, manage and update all the information generated from the exploration and extraction activities (NDR).
b)    Statistic analyses of information generated.
c)    Economic evaluations of the blocks on tender and once that there are awarded.

What is CNH’s most important area of improvement, in your opinion?

Managing the new contracts signed with private companies and Pemex assignments (legal entitlement different than a contract).

Where do you see the greatest opportunity in the Mexican oil and gas market?

Without doubt. México’s oil and gas potential is still untapped: 11 basins with hydrocarbons systems and just 5 of them producing basins. Top 5th producer in the world with just 5,200 exploration wells in more than 100 years of history. One county of the 10 in Texas, USA, has more exploration wells than México.

Where do you see the greatest challenge?

Regulating in an efficient manner.

What was the wisest advice you received from a mentor?

Always be humble and willing to learn.

Do you feel that U.S. policy changes will significantly change market trends in Mexico? How?

Yes. We import from the US more than 60% of the gas consumed and 50% of the gasolines. Any tariff impose on this can impact directly into the consumers.

From your perspective, do you feel the energy reform in Mexico has been successful so far? Why?

Yes. The resources are here, they key was finding a regulatory framework that could attract investments all over the upstream sector and its happening. The gulf of México on the Mexican side is the more explore area in the world in terms of new seismic acquisition, more than 2.5 billion dollars of investments in 2 years. The round 1 offered 54 blocks and awarded 38, more than 70%. From one company (Pemex)  in 2014, we have now 50 companies with exploration and extraction activities.

How do you feel the role of the CNH has evolved since the first Round? What improvements have occurred that you think the international community might not know about?

We have been adapting quickly to the new results and information. Now we are in a process of trying to set up a  new strategy with the Ministry of Energy, a system with fix dates for bidding, automatic qualification and the number and definition of the blocks on tender according to what companies nominate; for that nomination system to work out the national data repository open the full historic library to companies.

What is your evaluation of investment appetite in Mexico? Do you feel it will increase, stay the same or decrease in the next 12 months? Why? Where will the investment come from, in your opinion?

The appetite is there but we have to offer more acreage. México has an strategic geographic location with access to the Asian markets, Europe and US.

If you could wave a magic wand over the global industry, what would you change and why?

Take out Trump, obvious reasons.

What’s the one interesting fact about you that no one would suspect?

Am not an engineer.

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

The beach.

All-time favourite book?

Thinking, fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman.

All-time favourite film?

The Big Lebowsky

What three items would you take with you to a desert island?

A hamaca, bongos and a fishing rod.


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