Never mind all that “three amigos” stuff. A potential energy pipeline from Canada to the US could help those two Nafta members, but not the other, Mexico.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline could spell bad news for Mexican oil company Pemex, which is losing its monopoly at home and is currently the third biggest crude exporter to the US. Continue reading »

Oil companies hoping that by March 21 they might have clues as to which oil and gasfields may be up for grabs in Mexico should not get their hopes up too high.

Pemex, the state company which is having its 75-year-old monopoly opened up to private competition in a historic reform, will face a new competitive environment. And that means learning to keep corporate secrets, it says. Continue reading »

The 11th in our series of guest posts on the outlook for 2014 is by Duncan Wood and Christopher Wilson of the Wilson Center

We will look back on 2013 as a truly historic year for Mexico. The scale of the reform process that was undertaken and largely achieved by President Enrique Peña Nieto is astonishing by comparison not only with other countries around the world today, but also in the context of recent Mexican history. For 15 years Mexico had seemed condemned to endure one of the less palatable elements of democratic systems, legislative gridlock. However President Peña Nieto, through a combination of determination, hard bargaining and political skill, has managed to work with the congress to pass a series of major reforms that do much to put Mexico on the road to modernity and competitiveness. Continue reading »

By Jason Marczak and Peter Schechter of the Atlantic Council

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto capped a year of reform with a final act that far exceeded expectations of the 47-year-old leader’s first year. Energy reform, passed by the Senate and Chamber of Deputies last week, will end a 75-year policy prohibiting private investment in the country’s hydrocarbons sector. Some estimate that the reform will add an additional 2 percent to Mexico’s economy by 2025. Continue reading »

Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s president, has pulled a rabbit out of the hat. If all he wanted for Christmas was energy reform, well, Santa looks to have come early.

Just a few days ago, Senators were struggling to get together to thrash out details of the country’s sweeping energy reform and there was talk of having to extend sessions beyond December 15, when legislators break for the holidays. Continue reading »

Pemex refinery in Tula, Hidalog statePemex, Mexico’s state oil company, has strenuously denied a report in Spain’s ABC newspaper which had said it was looking to team up with Mexican telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim to buy 10 per cent of Spanish oil group Repsol (Pemex already has 9.3 per cent) – all as part of a strategy to oust Repsol chief Antonio Brufau. The report cited ‘unnamed sources’.

Both sides are denying the deal. But boy, there’s a lot of media chatter about Pemex, Repsol – and YPF.

 Continue reading »

Has opposition to Mexico’s reform agenda gone away, swept from the capital’s main square by police and from the headlines by tropical storms?

Time will tell – a recent demonstration against energy reform plans attracted thousands and striking teachers are promising more protests.

So it may be surprising to observe – in the first survey devoted to the subject of attitudes to Mexico’s pending energy reforms – that as much as 53 per cent of respondents were pretty – or very – happy with the plans. Continue reading »

The countdown begins for one of the most eagerly-awaited policy decisions that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto will make, one which may very well define his six-year presidency and shape Mexico’s economic future: his proposal to reform Mexico’s strongly-protected energy sector.

The Mexican president will unveil this week – some speculate as soon as Wednesday – his plans to open up Mexico’s oil industry to private investment. Continue reading »

One of the most widely watched – and significant – of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s reforms is that of the energy sector.

It’s on the agenda when Congress resumes after the summer break in September – and is attracting a lot of international attention in the energy sector. But with disappointing results out from state oil company Pemex out, it’s now looking even more important than before. Continue reading »

What is Pemex playing at?

Why would the Mexican oil company’s CEO go to the trouble of flying to Barcelona two weeks ago to explore the possibility of brokering a peace deal between Spain’s Repsol (in which it has a 9.37 per cent stake) and YPF, Repsol’s renationalised former unit, if Pemex was then going to vote against the deal at a board meetingContinue reading »

Tuesday’s announcement that Mexico has signed an agreement with Japan’s Mitsui Corporation to construct a gas pipeline for $460m was accompanied by the idea that the deal would provide cheaper and more abundant energy for Latin America’s second-largest economy. Continue reading »

There’s a joke about Pemex, Mexico’s gargantuan state-oil monopoly. The new chief executive officer walks in on his first day, summons his top people and gives them the simple task of bringing him a grey pinstripe suit.

So the next day, when he receives a three-piece multi-coloured monstrosity, he asks them what happened that they should have twisted his instructions out of all recognition. “Well, sir,” they say, “we interpreted what you said, and felt that this suit was what you really meant to ask for.” Continue reading »

Ask anyone with a passing knowledge of Mexico’s oil industry and they will likely tell you that Cantarell, the miracle oil field discovered in 1976 by a local fisherman, was the best thing that ever happened. Continue reading »

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Built at the height of Mexico’s oil boom more than three decades ago, the Pemex Tower in Mexico City – now badly damaged by Thursday’s explosion – was once described as “reflecting the pharaonic ambitions of Mexican bureaucracy”.

The description was penned by Manuel Buendía, once the nation’s best-known newspaper columnist, who was shot dead in a city centre street in 1984 in a killing that involved the secret police and drug barons. Continue reading »

If you want to know what is wrong with Mexico, you might start by looking at Pemex’s production figures for last year, which were published on Wednesday in a preliminary report and came in at just under 2011 levels, notching up an eighth straight year of declines. Continue reading »