Mexico’s private oil and gas industry has maintained a diplomatic tone as it defends itself from now familiar criticism by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Local oil and gas trade association Asociación Mexicana de Empresas de Hidrocarburos (Amexhi) said Wednesday that its private sector members “have fulfilled 100%” of their contractual commitments and invested $11 billion to date, reiterating the findings of a report published by the group in late 2018.

The statement was presumably in response to accusations made by López Obrador earlier that day to the opposite effect. He has suspended the awarding of further upstream contracts, alleging that operators are not fulfilling their commitments or reaching production fast enough.

A total of 111 exploration and production contracts awarded under Mexico’s 2013-2014 constitutional energy reform are currently in effect.

Prior to the reform, only national oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) was allowed to hold oil and gas acreage.

In addition to the $11 billion invested, upstream regulator Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos has approved investment commitments from private operators totaling $36 billion, Amexhi said.

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