Pemex has mixed success in first phase of energy overhaul

MEXICO CITY  — Mexico’s state-owned oil company will retain rights to exploit 83 percent of the country’s proven and probable reserves, but could form alliances with private firms in some of those fields.

And Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, will only get to claim 21 percent of the country’s possible reserves, less than it asked for.

Pemex has held a monopoly on Mexican oil since the 1930s, but the nation’s energy sector has opened to private investment under constitutional amendments approved last year and legislation signed into law  this week.

The measures allow private and foreign firms to sign production and profit-sharing deals in the oil, gas and electricity industries.

Under terms of the overhaul, Pemex received the initial oil  awards in a process called Round Zero.

In subsequent rounds of bidding, private firms will vie for rights to explore the 79 percent of remaining fields where reserves are suspected.

Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said Mexico expects to receive about $50 billion in investment over the next three years as a result of the landmark energy policy change.