Pol Palacios, co-founder and chief executive of subsea technology company Xwells, is an avid backer of Mexico as a place for doing business but, like many before him, he has been forced to reassess his approach.

Bringing experience from groundbreaking West African offshore developments such as Dalia and Girassol, Palacios made Xwells an early mover on Lakach, a Pemex-operated deep-water project that is back in the headlines now.

Palacios’ own background is a mixture of the orthodox — including a degree from the University of Lille’s engineering school and a post-graduate degree from the French Petroleum Institute — and the deliciously unorthodox.