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Mexico Congress Opens Pemex to Foreign Exploration, Investment

Nationalized 76 years ago, Mexico's Congress sent energy reforms to its president that will allow a private role in its oil and gas industry.

Mexico is on the verge of overhauling its oil and gas industry with a package of reforms that break a state monopoly and expand foreign and private companies’ investment.

Mexico’s Congress approved the energy reforms package late Wednesday and they headed to the desk of President Enrique Peña Nieto, who has made energy reform the cornerstone of his economic platform.

"Today we took a big step toward the future for Mexicans," Pena Nieto said via his Twitter account. "We will take better and more sustainable advantage of our energy resources."

Mexico’s production has fallen to 2.5 million barrels a day from its peak production of 3.4 million in 2004. The reforms will allow private companies with the expertise and technology lacking in the state oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, to exploit the country's vast shale and deep-water reserves.

The government predicts daily production will increase to 3 million barrels by 2018 and 3.5 million by 2025.

Private exploitation of Mexico's oil and gas reserves has not been allowed for since the industry was nationalized 76 years ago.



--The Associated Press