WhiteWater Midstream LLC pushed back on July 20 against allegations of corruption leveled by Mexico’s state-operated utility, Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), while experts expressed concern about the risks U.S. energy companies take in conducting business in the country.

The issue is centered around three natural gas contracts between Austin, Texas-based Whitewater and a private company founded by the utility in 2016-2017, during a period of energy reform promoted by Mexico’s then-President Enrique Peña Nieto. On July 16, the CFE said it was investigating possible criminal actions by WhiteWater against its company—CFE International (CFEI), which is based in Houston.

A spokesman for WhiteWater told Hart Energy that the company could not discuss specifics of the contract dispute because the matter is in arbitration, but released this statement:

“CFE’s repeated false statements to the media about WhiteWater follow our initiation of arbitration against CFEI for unpaid amounts owed,” the company said. “Particularly disturbing are the explicit threats from the state-owned enterprise to pursue criminal action on contracts that it sought to renegotiate for months, leveraging its non-payment. WhiteWater will vigorously pursue its contractual rights in arbitration.”

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