In December 2013, Mexico ratified drastic reforms to its energy sector which ended the 76-year monopoly the state oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex),
has had on the country’s energy resources. On August
11, 2014, President Peña Nieto signed into law the 21
component parts of that comprehensive energy reform.
Pemex is an institution that holds both national
and historical significance for Mexican citizens. State
control of the oil industry has been a key part of
Mexico’s national identity. Pemex profits make up
one-third of the country’s tax revenues. That money
has funded important welfare and national advancement
projects that have bettered the lives of many Mexicans.
But those benefits came with a heavy price tag.
Created in 1938 to replace U.S. and British oil companies
then doing business in Mexico, Pemex was saddled with
constitutional requirements that restricted it from working
with international oil companies. This prevented Pemex
from taking advantage of the technological and financial
opportunities normally available to owners of significant,
proven oil and gas reserves. No longer. Pemex, Mexico’s
untouchable crown jewel for nearly eight decades, is