Pemex and 40 companies import and export hydrocarbons in Mexico

Pemex and a quarantine of private operators, with the permission of the Ministry of Energy (Sener), import and export hydrocarbons and petroleum products, according to information from the World Trade Organization (WTO).

However, Pemex is still the most important operator.

Until 2017 the price of some of the petroleum products was controlled.

Pemex participates in all activities of the productive chain of the hydrocarbons sector.

In 2016, Mexico notified the WTO that Pemex had a monopoly on the trade of crude oil and petroleum products, natural gas and other products.

However, the same notification indicates that the state monopoly on trade was eliminated for LPG and for gasoline and diesel.

Since 2013, competition has been allowed in Mexico in all activities of the energy sector, except for those reserved to the State: the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons, the use of nuclear energy to produce electricity, and the transmission and distribution of electricity.

However, since 2017, energy policy has sought to strengthen again the participation of state-owned companies in the sector, adopting measures to encourage the participation of Pemex and CFE in the different activities in which the private sector participates.

Pemex continues to be the main operator in the hydrocarbons sector and the largest contributor to the country’s public coffers.


The company faces, however, financial and operational difficulties, which have led the State to adopt measures to guarantee profitability and ensure the company’s sustainability.

Mexico is a major crude oil producer, but due to its limited capacity to refine the crude oil it extracts, it exports much of its production and imports refined products.

One of the main objectives of the sector’s policy is therefore to improve refining capacity to achieve self-sufficiency.

The State has the power to award assignments, which grant Pemex the exclusive right to explore and exploit, and contracts for exploration and exploitation.

Contracts are awarded through bids and may be of four types.

Pemex and private companies may participate in the bids, individually or in association.

From 2013 to date (May 2022), Mexico has organized three bidding rounds. The third round, which started in 2017, was cancelled in 2018.


Redacción Opportimes