Mexico Allows Fuel Imports to Lure Investment, Cut Prices

Starting in April, companies other than state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos will be allowed to buy gasoline and diesel from overseas markets for the first time since the industry was nationalized in 1938.

Pena Nieto is striving to attract investment into the country after the collapse of oil prices undermined his move to overhaul the energy industry. Pemex is still the only sizable producer in Mexico, and its filling stations are the only option for drivers. The company’s declining production hasn’t kept pace with rising demand.

Easing Controls

Mexico may have to ease controls that regulate prices at the pump in order to woo private participation, John Auers, executive vice president at Turner Mason & Co. in Dallas, said in a phone interview.

The country will also hold an auction in December to award rights to private companies bidding to develop and produce crude in 10 deep water fields in the Gulf of Mexico, Pena Nieto he said.

Pena Nieto’s energy reform also included breaking the monopoly on electricity held by Comision Federal de Electricidad.

The energy overhaul, which the government forecasts will bring in $62.5 billion of investment by 2018, “represents the most important economic change in my country over the last 50 years,” Pena Nieto said.

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Source: bloomberg

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