Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos (Mexico)

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The Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos (CNH or Commission) is a technical, independent body created in 2008 to support the Ministry of Energy in the definition and implementation of Mexico's hydrocarbon policy.[1] Its purpose is to supervise and regulate the exploration and production of hydrocarbons by establishing technical guidelines, designing operational efficiency evaluation mechanisms and rule on exploration and production projects presented by Pemex.


On April 8, 2008, the Executive presented a package of reform initiatives that included the proposed installation of a decentralized body of the Ministry of Energy with technical and operational autonomy to aid the state in its role as regulator of the oil industry.

On November 28, 2008, Congress instituted CNH by publishing the "National Hydrocarbons Commission Law" in the Diario Oficial de la Federación.[2] At the same time, the existence of the Commission was acknowledged in the 'Organic Law of the Federal Public Administration' and the Regulatory Law of Constitutional Article 27 in the Petroleum Sector (LR27C).[3]

CNH was formally installed on the 20th of May 2009 via the Presidential appointment of the five Commissioners that form its Governing Body.[4] Shortly afterwards, CNH issued its Rules of Procedure in the Diario Oficial de la Federación on August 28, 2009.

Regulatory approach[edit]

The Commission's approach is a hybrid of prescriptive and performance-based systems, with greater weight given to the latter. It is based on a three-tier strategy:[5]

  1. Revision of Pemex's internal standards
  2. Design of specific regulation
  3. Technical assessment of E&P projects

More specifically, Article 3 of the CNH Law establishes that the Commission must promote that Pemex's exploration and production projects are carried out pursuant to the following bases:[2]

  • Increase the recovery rate and obtain the maximum volume of crude oil and natural gas in the long term
  • Replace the Nation's hydrocarbon reserves
  • Use the appropriate technology
  • Environmental protection and the sustainability of natural resources
  • Ensure the best industrial safety conditions
  • Minimize flaring and venting of gas and hydrocarbons

In addition, the CNH must also establish an Oil Record that will contain its resolutions and agreements, all opinions, standards and regulations issued among other things.[2]


The Commission is presided by a Governing Body composed by the President Commissioner and four other Commissioners. The current composition of the Governing Body is:

  • Juan Carlos Zepeda Molina, President Commissioner
  • Edgar René Rangel German, Commissioner
  • Guillermo Cruz Domínguez Vargas, Commissioner
  • Alma América Porres Luna, Commissioner
  • Néstor Martínez Romero, Commissioner

Regulatory highlights[edit]

  • Technical Provisions to Avoid or Reduce Flaring and Venting of Gas in the Exploration and Exploitation of Hydrocarbons[6]
  • Technical Guidelines for Designing Hydrocarbon Exploration and Exploitation Projects and their Evaluation[7]
  • Guidelines Regulating the Ruling Process for the Approval of Evaluation and Quantification Reports of Hydrocarbon Reserves Developed by Petróleos Mexicanos and the Approval of the Final Reports of the Certifications Completed by Independent Third Parties[8]
  • First Technical Paper of Oil and Gas Recovery Factors[9]
  • First Review of the Tertiary Gulf Oil Project[10]


External links[edit]