In late 2013, Mexico’s congress approved historic legislation that altered the 1938 ban on private sector participation in the Mexican energy sector. These reforms, that end the 75-year monopoly of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and allow for greater foreign investment, are the first to include constitutional change, and promise to address many of the challenges that have resulted in a decade-long decline in Mexico’s oil production.
Last year, Mexico produced 2.90 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of total liquids, continuing the decline from its peak of 3.85 million bbl/d in 2004. Crude oil is the most significant component of Mexico’s liquid fuels production, accounting for at least 85% of production in the past two decades. Preliminary estimates indicate April 2014 production of crude oil was about 2.5 million bbl/d, the lowest monthly average since 1995.
The new reforms include the following:
Before the reforms can take effect, Mexico’s legislature must finalize the secondary laws detailing the fiscal regime, including the contract terms for the exploration and production models and local content requirements. It is expected that Mexico will finalize the secondary legislation by early August.
Unlike the contract terms and local content requirements, which require legislative action to implement, Pemex is already moving forward with its proposal to retain oil and gas assets in the deepwater oil fields in the Perdido Fold Belt and offshore gas fields in Lakach. These proposals have been submitted to the energy ministry. A final decision will be announced in September.