David Shields
“The Mexican Oil Industry:
Problems and Policy Options”

February 9, 2006

David Shields, a journalist and energy industry consultant, describes his research on the current problems besetting Pemex, Mexico's national oil company.

Mexico — the sixth biggest oil producing nation in the world and one of the three main oil exporters to the United States — appears to have reached a peak oil scenario in which oil output levels are likely to decline sharply in the near term. Meanwhile, the company, which enjoys monopoly status in the Mexican market, is reaching a crisis point on many fronts, ranging from major indebtedness to corporate governance to aging infrastructure. A number of reform options are available to the next Mexican president, but none of them are easy fixes and all could be thwarted by a divided Congress.

David Shields is a journalist and private consultant on energy matters in Mexico. He is the editor of Energía a Debate (www.energiaadebate.com.mx) and the author of PEMEX, Un Futuro Incierto (Pemex: An Uncertain Future).

Shields points to a line representing an internal projection of future production at the Cantarel oil field, Mexico's largest. Pemex's more optimistic public projection is the line to the right and above.


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