President Enrique Peña Nieto won election last year with a campaign calling for the opening of Mexico’s oil and gas sector to private investors. Such investment has been barred by the Mexican constitution for more than seven decades.
Karen Hooper is director of analysis for Austin-based private intelligence firm Stratfor.
“Energy is really the third rail in Mexico. It’s an issue that very much appeals to Mexican nationalism, and it is an important source of revenue for the government budget.”
With production in Mexico’s oil fields in decline, Hooper says the government is being forced to reevaluate the ban.
“What they need to do now is go to the much more technologically advanced deep water areas that require a lot more capital and a lot more technology, and that means foreign investment and foreign partners.”
The PRI holds the largest number of seats in Mexico’s Congress. But it will need the support of one of the country’s two main opposition parties to obtain the two-thirds majority needed to amend the constitution.