Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said he’s confident Congress will end the state oil monopoly this year, opening the way for companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc to tap the nation’s reserves. In the model envisioned by Pena Nieto, state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos would develop some fields, while others are tapped by foreign and private companies. He declined to discuss more details of the proposal, or whether it would require a change in the constitution.
Seven decades after his party seized fields from the predecessors to Exxon and Shell, Pena Nieto is preparing for the return of international oil companies to arrest eight years of decline in crude output. An opening would probably be broad, from offshore drilling to shale fields similar to those that have revived the U.S. petroleum industry, Pena Nieto said. “It’s obvious that Pemex doesn’t have the financial capacity to be in every single front of energy generation,” the 46-year-old president said in an interview in London yesterday, before traveling to Northern Ireland for meetings with Group of Eight leaders. “Shale is one of the areas where there’s room for private companies, but not the only one.”