This work in progress article identifies the conditions under which shale gas development in Mexico can, or cannot, be smart regulated. On 2 March 2018 Round 3.3 for Conventional and Unconventional Terrestrial Areas was announced by the Secretariat of Energy.
This is the first competitive bidding for shale gas development. Following a qualitative analysis of the regulatory setting, challenges and perspectives, the answer to this question is that this development can be smart regulated.
Further, there are some valuable attempts in this direction implemented by the regulators. Smart regulating Mexico’s shale gas development is needed because conventional solutions are not enough to address such a major regulatory challenge. The complementarity of the regulatory and policy tools, which would indicate its ‘smartness’, is yet to be proven in practice.
Tailor made smart regulation alongside best regulatory practice is necessary to lessen environmental impacts associated with shale gas development. However, under the current above ground and regulatory conditions environmental impacts are likely even if smart regulation and best regulatory practice are implemented.
About the speaker
José Alberto Hernández Ibarzábal is a Visiting Fellow conducting postdoctoral research in the areas of socio-economic, governance and environmental challenges of unconventional gas development. His current focus is on the Mexican case, which includes the lessons from unconventional gas development in Australia. He is a strong advocate for consulting with local communities and implementing best regulatory practice to lessen the environmental risks associated with fracking.
José has conducted research in natural gas infrastructure regulation, governability and investment since 2005. Generating knowledge in these areas has been the main aim of his research, synthesised in five articles alongside two doctoral theses and one Diploma of Advanced Studies thesis.