National oil companies (NOCs) in Latin America enjoyed record profits in the second quarter on the back of high oil and gas prices, but they remain under pressure from governments facing economic crises.

Latin America

The high oil and gas price environment “has come with a downside which is that in the domestic market, it is very hard to increase domestic pricing for fuels,” energy expert Francisco Monaldi of Rice University’s Baker Institute told NGI’s Mexico GPI. “Most governments press national oil companies and sometimes private companies to keep prices low. That’s an issue in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico.”

Politics impacts the performance of NOCs in other ways, too. In the case of Colombia, recently elected President Gustavo Petro has said he wants to transform...