A reform push in Mexico that many have termed historic could get epic this fall. That’s when President Enrique Pena Nieto will introduce plans to reform the oil and gas sector and overhaul the country’s tax system.
There’s a broad consensus among economists that Mexico’s growth and long-term vitality rely on the passage of these plans, interlinked because oil revenues constitute a substantial part—around one-third—of the federal budget.
And there’s a general acknowledgment across much of the Mexican political spectrum that Pemex, the state-owned oil company, is in dire need of reform. Now in its 75th year, the company’s reputation is one of inefficiency and corruption while large and persistent financial losses—only one of its four subsidiaries is profitable—underscore its deficiencies. A host of problems, operational and structural, have limited the company’s ability to invest in the technology necessary to tap deep-water reserves and develop Mexico’s extensive shale-gas deposits.