Mexican Presidential Candidates Favor Opening Oil Sector to Investment

The prospect of foreign investment in Mexico's state oil monopoly has long been the third rail of Mexican politics. That may be changing as the country prepares for this year's general election.

Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI and Josefina Vazquez Mota of the ruling PAN are the top contenders to become Mexico’s next president. Both say they favor opening Pemex to private investment. Houston companies would be among those best poised to benefit from such a move. James Bourne is Latin America editor for the Energy Intelligence Group.

“Pemex, although it is benefiting from $100 oil same as other oil companies around the world, is struggling. It doesn’t have the manpower or the technology to boost production. A lot of its reservoirs are old or mature, and you need special technology and skills that they basically don’t have.”

Lifting the ban on foreign investment will require amending Mexico’s constitution. Even with presidential support, Bourne says, that’s likely to encounter strong resistance in Mexico’s Congress and from its unions. Mexican voters go to the polls on July 1.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...