The Wall Street Journal Quotes Steven Otillar on Impact of Falling Peso

Akin Gump oil and gas partner Steven Otillar was quoted by The Wall Street Journal in its story “Despite Plunging Peso, Wildcatters Try Making Money on Oil in Mexico,” which reports that many energy explorers and investors are taking advantage of a declining Mexican peso by putting money into Mexico’s recently deregulated energy sector.

The article notes that the peso has lost about 15 percent in value against the U.S. dollar since the election of Donald Trump. The currency is down even further since Mexico held its first auction of oil fields in July 2015.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, the article continues, made energy deregulation a centerpiece of his economic agenda, but protesters are complaining about government cuts of gasoline subsidies that are part of the deregulatory measures. If Mr. Peña Nieto’s party fails to win the presidency next year, as the article reports, the privatization process could stall.

Mr. Peña Nieto’s political opponents “can’t stop the process, but it could throw sand in the gears and really slow things down,” said Otillar, who has worked on deals in Mexico’s energy industry for two decades. It could “really be bad for business,” he added.