Pre-conference meetings for regulatory agencies and ministries are a standard feature at the International Conference and Exhibition and the Energy Opportunities Conference, events held in AAPG’s Latin America and Caribbean Region in the past decade. Usually, the regulatory agency’s chairman from the host country presides over the three or four-hour session.
Mexico’s National Hydrocarbon Commission President Agustín Díaz Lastra and CNH commissioners Néstor Martínez Romero and Héctor Moreira Rodríguez invited representatives from eight governmental agencies and four professional and industry associations to join them at Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Core Center in Hidalgo, 100 kilometers from Mexico City. Their visitors hailed from Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States and Uruguay.
The trip to the National Core Center included a facility tour and a working session designed for participants to exchange ideas and experiences on current trends in the hydrocarbon sector, as well as best practices and lessons learned in countries throughout the region.
Participants were divided into four working groups: Safeguarding historical cores inventory of and physical well samples; Exploration and Development Plans; Community development support; and Regulatory efficiency.
Each working group developed a set of conclusions, but an overall summary includes the following:
- Regulatory bodies in the hydrocarbons industry are an important element for the relationship with local communities in the regions where oil companies operate.
- The stages for approval of exploration and development plans are very similar in the different regions of the Americas.
- It is important to encourage and strengthen regulatory efficiency to provide greater legal certainty to the industry.
The participants agreed to continue the dialogue and cooperation among their countries, through a common work agenda.
Regulatory agencies and ministries in attendance included the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH), Colombia; Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management, United States; Ministry of Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining, Belize; Staatsolie, Suriname; National Fuel, Alcohol and Portland Administration (ANCAP), Uruguay; Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Trinidad and Tobago; YPFB Corporation, Bolivia; and Perupetro, Peru.
Association representatives included AAPG; the Mexican Association of Hydrocarbon Companies (AMEXHI); the National Association of Hydrocarbon Producers (ANPHI); and the Association of Oil, Gas and Renewable Energy Companies of Latin America and the Caribbean (ARPEL).
Attendees thanked CNH for their attention and expressed their willingness to continue strengthening relationships developed during the visit.
“I’m thankful to each one of the organizers of the event, to the technical professionals and colleagues who moderated and participated very actively in the meeting of regulatory agencies,” said Hector de Santa Ana, exploration and production manager at ANCAP. “It will be a real pleasure to continue working with all of the participants on the agreed future plans.”
Carlos Rey, technical vice president at Colombia’s ANH, said the day was productive for all involved.
“We came away not only with the experience itself but also with a strong bond of camaraderie between our entities,” he said. “I hope that the idea of inter-institutional collaboration crystallizes and serves to achieve our goals.”