MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's state-owned oil company will retain rights to exploit 83 percent of the country's proven and probable reserves under the newly enacted opening of the energy business, although the company will form alliances with private firms in some of those fields, the government announced Wednesday.
The allocation given to Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, will equal about 2.5 million barrels of oil a day for 20.5 years, Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said.
"This guarantees that Pemex will have its development secured in the immediate future," Coldwell said. "Pemex will continue being Mexicans' great company."
Pemex will get rights to only 21 percent of the country's possible reserves. The company had asked for 31 percent.
The allocations given to Pemex are part of the so-called "Round Zero," the first areas on land and offshore to be assigned under an energy overhaul signed into law by President Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday. The new law allows private and foreign firms to sign production and profit-sharing deals in the oil, gas and electricity industries.
Private exploitation of Mexico's oil and gas drilling is being allowed for the first time since the industry was nationalized 76 years ago.
Pemex Chief Executive Emilio Lozoya said that beginning in November the company will start trying to form strategic partnerships with private companies on 10 different projects, which Pemex hopes to consolidate in 13 months.
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