Carlos Trevino on Monday was appointed director-general of Mexico’s state-owned oil and natural gas company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) by President Enrique Pena Nieto.

For Trevino, the appointment was a promotion from his previous post as Pemex corporate chief of administration and services.

Trevino replaced Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya, who has spent less than three years as Pemex chief. Both men are long-standing members of the state financial bureaucracy.

In a ceremony at Los Pinos, the Mexican White House, Gonzalez Anaya was appointed as finance minister to replace Jose Antonio Meade.

Trevino is seen as a steady hand at the helm for the final year of the current Mexican administration, traditionally a period of political fragility.

The appointment of Trevino to replace Gonzalez Anaya confirmed a view that Pemex is not so much a company but rather a government department, said Houston-based George Baker, president of

State-controlled exploration and production operators that include Brazil's Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), Colombia's Ecopetrol SA and Norway's Statoil ASA mostly operate like “regular” producers, with CEOs who have track records in the industry and whose duration of tenure is similar to that of the majors, Baker told NGI.

Petrobras, Ecopetrol and Statoil have operations beyond their national borders, and many have been involved in operations under Mexico's 2013 energy reform that ended almost eight decades of state control.

The change in Pemex coincided with a media report about Jesus Reyes Heroles, a former Pemex chief, ex-energy secretary and a former Mexican ambassador to the United States, who hailed Mexico’s energy reform but described as "a major error" the status of Pemex as an item on the federal budget rather than launching it on the stock market.

Petrobras raised $70 billion in a 2010 initial public offer, giving Brazil's reform a huge boost. Reyes Heroles and other analysts maintain that Pemex should have followed suit, but Pena Nieto's hands apparently were tied.

Leftwing politicians, who formed part of the grand alliance to achieve a two-thirds majority in Congress for the energy reform, were bitterly opposed to the "privatization" of Pemex, long regarded as a symbol of national sovereignty.