In Memoriam: Edgar Rangel-German

Edgar Rangel-German, SPE, commissioner of Mexico’s regulatory agency National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) and one of the key members behind the implementation of Mexico’s recent energy reform for hydrocarbons, died 23 March. He was 42.

Rangel-German was a thought leader in Mexico’s energy reform, which brought about constitutional changes in 2013 to open the country’s oil and gas market to private investments and technical expertise to increase production. He was appointed CNH commissioner for a second term in 2013 by Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto, when constitutional changes charged CNH with regulating, overseeing, and evaluating all hydrocarbons exploration and production activities in Mexico.

CNH oversees the tenders the country is offering under the reform. On the success of the second tender in Round One in September last year, he commented in a JPT article, “We believe that our mandate of obtaining the best conditions for the Mexican state was achieved. …neither the current oil prices nor the minimum value established by the minister of finance mattered in the second auction. It seems to me that materiality ruled the tender.” The third auction last December was even more successful with all 25 onshore blocks offered being awarded.

With technical expertise in petroleum engineering and experience from Mexico’s finance and energy ministries, Rangel-German made significant contributions to the success of the reform. His term with CNH began in 2009, with his appointment as one of the five founding commissioners of the agency by Mexico’s president at the time, Felipe Calderón. Before the CNH appointments, he held other executive roles in Mexican government. He was chief technical adviser to the undersecretary of hydrocarbons at the secretary of energy, SENER, where one of his early assignments was to write the first charter for CNH in 2005. He also held the role of general director for hydrocarbon, electricity, and water project evaluation at the secretary of finance.

A member of SPE since his student days, Rangel-German was the president of the SPE Stanford University student chapter. He continued to be an active volunteer and served on several SPE committees, including the 2016 SPE Mexico Health, Safety, Environment, and Sustainability Symposium; 2014 and 2016 SPE Latin America Heavy and Extra Heavy Oil Conferences; 2014 SPE Applying the Best Technologies in Extremely Sensitive Environments Workshop; and 2013 SPE EOR—Technical and Managerial Framework for Engineering a Successful Implementation Workshop. He was also the ­author of several SPE technical papers on topics such as heavy oil reservoir thermal simulation and economic evaluation, production forecasting for underdeveloped fields, and temperature-induced sand consolidation.

Rangel-German held a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mexico, and master’s and PhD degrees from Stanford University, all in petroleum engineering.


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