Interview with Graciela Álvarez, CEO of NRGI Broker
Mexico Oil & Gas Review / 18 Julio
Company bio: NRGI Broker specializes in insurance and surety bonds for the Mexican energy sector. It develops custom-made solutions for companies operating in the energy sector, including vessel, construction and engineering and catastrophic risks.
Q: How has NRGI Broker created market opportunities to expand the reach of its services?
A: I am proud to say that we have played a great role in the implementation of the Energy Reform. We have been standing with our country since the beginning, we trusted the reform and now we have mastered how it works. We are a Mexican broker that has a broad services portfolio and we have consolidated as the best one in the market We have also established “Voces de Energía”, a forum where experts discuss the reform’s environmental, social and fiscal regulations.
Q: How will NRGI Broker benefit its potential clients and partners going forward?
A: In the long term, we see the company as a consolidated reference in the fields of insurance and sureties for the oil and gas industry. We are savvy about the needs of the companies along the entire value chain in hydrocarbons and we are an established adviser for risk management and on financial regulations. We started strong in offshore, ever since activity began in that area, and now we are talking about moving into onshore. The trend is to set new partnerships for storage, pipelines, clean energies and alike. We are investing in putting our brand’s name out there and showcasing that we offer a full range of services few other companies offer.
Q: What are the Top 3 successes of the Energy Reform?
A: I have a vivid memory of observing the Energy Reform’s application when I was acting as an adviser for ASEA in 2014, which gave me the chance to understand how the reform was set in motion. The first success was the implementation itself, which was accomplished according to the same spectrum of norms, rules and opportunities. The second success was the establishment of strong and transparent organisms to guide the implementation that facilitated the cohabitation of all different players in a single environment, which has grown to represent 18 operators. The third is the 72 percent rate of successful allocation of everything that has been tendered in the licensing rounds, demonstrating the genuine interest that local and foreign companies have in Mexico.
Q: How have local and foreign companies adapted to the new regulations and what have been the major hurdles in this process?
A: Everything comes down to an understanding that we need a unified regulatory framework and this cannot be implemented without looking at international standards. The reform’s planning was based on the experiences of seven countries that underwent similar processes, so it is molded to global requirements. Those international players that recently entered the market are used to these types of regulations since they apply to other territories, while many Mexican companies have previously worked with foreign partners that use those standards. For most local companies, application was not an issue. On the contrary, companies operating in the hydrocarbons sector now have the certainty of working in an environment protected by a well-established regulatory framework.
Q: How has NRGI Broker contributed to changing the local mindset and raising awareness about the need for insurance?
A: We advised ASEA when it conducted a three-year study on the best practices and experiences of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Norway, the UK and the US that could be applied to the Mexican case. We worked with it every step of the way to establish these rules, from offshore platforms to setting up gas stations, and we developed the administrative dispositions for insurance in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. Insurance is required if this industry is to function properly and this mandatory status made things easier for us in terms of application. We are certain about the need to transform the attitude toward insurance and to combine that with our experience, specialization and innovation to offer personalized solutions to our clients.
Q: How will PEMEX’s migration projects make the company more competitive and productive?
A: This is a great strategy for PEMEX to establish investment partnerships that are specialists in how fields work, the reserves included in those fields and the different options to exploit them. This is a long-term investment business that opens the door to new opportunities to turn PEMEX into a more competitive entity. It is a win-win situation. It is important to note that PEMEX gets to keep the land ownership for these migrations; they only allow investment from third parties. One of the company’s future strengths lies in its capitalization and the establishment of partnerships with technology-driven companies. By binding all the parties involved in these type of projects, the companies are forced to bring their A game and deliver on their promises because they would harm themselves if they fell short due to the interdependence ingrained in this framework.
Q: What direction would you like the next administration to follow related to the industry?
A: I hope the next administration understands the implication of keeping the Energy Reform afloat. The reform was meant to contribute to the country and it has been set in motion successfully. The next president should push for new partnerships to continue deepening the reform’s outreach. What is important to understand is that reversing this process would be harmful to the country and it would hurt many companies that have supported and invested in its application.
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Mexico Oil & Gas Review / 18 Julio