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Supporting international development in Mexico: Regulating the oil and gas sector

<Mexico Oil and Gas

The Challenge

Mexico's National Agency for Industrial Safety and Environmental Protection of the Hydrocarbons Sector (ASEA) sought HSE's respected and world-leading experience as an offshore regulator; the country was moving away from a model of self-regulation within the national oil company to having an independent regulator.

In 2013 the Mexican Congress had approved a bill to allow private-sector companies to pursue enterprises in the national oil and gas sector for the first time since 1938. This 'Energy Reform' enabled Mexico's institutional framework to be strenghthened, promoting the successful opening-up of the sector.

In this context ASEA was created as a decentralised administrative body of the Ministry of Environment (SEMARNAT). It is an independent regulator that oversees the Mexican oil and gas industry, safeguarding workers, the public and the environment.

This project was funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Prosperity Fund.

The Solution

This knowledge transfer project included independent review of management arrangements, sharing elements of good regulatory practice and identifying health and safety training needs. As part of this we held workshops for ASEA staff and supported industry engagement events in Mexico. The success of the project led to follow-up support to provide training focussed on major accident hazard awareness and prevention. This included working visits to HSE's Science and Research Centre in Buxton and to Aberdeen, where a number of UK companies shared their expertise.

The Outcome

Our collaboration strengthened cooperation, coordination and information sharing around safety and environmental protection in the Mexican oil and gas sector. We helped enable the new regulator in their development, oversight and enforcement processes, thereby safeguarding workers, the public and the environment.

Further information on HSE's approach to the control of major accident hazard sites, both onshore and offshore, can be found on the COMAH pages.

For more information on our international work visit our International Leader in Health and Safety page.

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This case study was featured on page 41 of the 2017 Annual Science Review.

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