PEMEX and the Development of the Mexican Oil Industry

Dr. Jonathan C. Brown
History Department
The University of Texas at Austin

This presentation will cover the historical development of the Mexican petroleum industry from its creation by the foreign oil interests, to the dramatic nationalization in 1938, to the creation of PEMEX, to the formative years of PEMEX operations, to the discovery of the Las Reformas oilfields, to the political problems of the 1982 price drop, and to the complex relationship between the powerful oil union and the state oil monopoly. Finally, Professor Brown will deal with the status of PEMEX in the economic reforms of the 1990s.

The presenter will identify a number of themes that run through the historical trajectory of PEMEX. They include the dependence of PEMEX on technology imports, on foreign contractors, and its special place in the nation's political and economic life.