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David Hults, PESD Research Fellow, Speaks on Latin American Oil Companies

Sanctuary for the State: National Oil Companies in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela

As the pro-market "Washington Consensus" has unraveled, this decade has seen the emergence of two new Latin American trends: One group of countries favoring continued liberalization (Brazil, Chile, Mexico), and another opting for increasing state intervention (Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela). Energy policy tells some of the story behind these two trends. This talk will focus on energy policy for three Latin American countries-- Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela-- within the context of a larger fifteen-country study on National Oil Companies. The speaker will address how oil has both facilitated greater state control and created, though typically to a lesser degree, some pressures for market liberalization, as well as suggest some implications from recent oil market trends (new oil field discoveries in Brazil, falling oil prices globally) for state control in the region.