One of the missing oil and gas jurisdictions in the world for private participation was finally opened when the Mexican government reformed its constitution and congressional laws last December 2013 and August 2014. Now, the private sector will be able to participate in the exploration, extraction, refining, transportation, storage, distribution, and commercialization of petroleum and its by-products through (i) contracts to be granted by the National Hydrocarbons Commission, and/or (ii) permits to be granted by the Ministry of Energy or the Regulatory Energy Commission. These are important modifications not only for the Mexican oil and gas industry, but also for the local and foreign private industry. These modifications will be analyzed throughout this article with the purpose of explaining the (i) background of petroleum regulation in Mexico; (ii) modifications made to the Mexican Constitution and the legal protection to be provided to foreign participants; (iii) the new legal system applicable to the private sector in each phase of the industry and the potential for foreign investment; and (iv) the new status and role of the national oil company, “Petroleos Mexicanos,” and its potential joint ventures with private companies.



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