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Mexico's experience with oil contrasts sharply to the development of the same resource from the same formations in the United States, and it illustrates the most salient cultural, political, and historical differences between the two countries. "El Petroleo es Nuestro" uses the history of oil in Mexico to tell the story of the development of modern Mexico and its national institutions. Remastered and re-released for 2018!
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After regaining office in December 2012, the PRI party carries out the single biggest change to the Mexican Constitution in 70 years with the 2013 Mexican Energy Reform. In some ways, the 2013 Reform is simple to describe because it was so radical. But it seems destined to fall short of its proponents' wildest claims and of the oil industry's alrea…
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Cantarell peaks. Chicontepec comes up dry. And the Multiple Service Contracts fail to produce an increase in foreign investment or in the production of hydrocarbons. And then the PEMEX tower explodes. Things go from bad to worse in this episode, but Mexico begins to take her first tentative steps towards Reform. Suggested reading: "The Eagle Ford" …
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Mexico limps through the 1980's following a collapse in oil prices and an effective default on its national debt. When the Harvard-educated, neoliberal Carlos Salinas takes office in 1988, he takes on the old structure of Mexico's statist economy, including PEMEX, the Oilworkers' Union, and its colorful leader, La Quina. You won't believe how close…
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We're back to gushers and glory here with the great oil finds of the 1970's: Reforma, Cantarell, and Ku-Maloob-Zaap. And we're talking about the closest thing PEMEX has to an American-style, larger-than-life oil personality: Jorge Diaz Serrano. Suggested viewing on YouTube: Jose Agustin's "Tragicomedia Mexicana." Link here: http://tinyurl.com/zssjy…
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In this episode, we struggle to make sense of PEMEX's adolescent period. Great measures - such as the formation of the Instituto Mexicano de Petroleo - are taken which will yield fantastic results a decade later. But disturbing patterns begin to emerge as other Mexican institutions come to rely on PEMEX's spectacular wealth to advance their own age…
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Antonio J. Bermudez assumes the Directorship of PEMEX and makes it the animal we have come to know and love. PEMEX truly becomes an oil company, making critical downstream investments and finally surpassing pre-Expropriation activity. But hints at her future struggles appear even as the great Petrolera achieves her first successes. Suggested readin…
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On March 18, 1938, Mexican President Lazaro Cardenas expropriated the properties of the American, English, and Dutch oil companies operating in Mexico. Was this the ideological act of a political radical? Or a calculated piece of realpolitik that united the Mexican business class with the socialist labor movement to forge the coalition that would r…
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The oil companies withdraw from Mexican society as Revolution ravages the country. As Post-Revolutionary governments reassert control over the country, they go to battle with the oil companies over the validity of their holdings and soon find allies in the incipient Oilworkers Movement. Suggested reading: Mariano Azuela, "Los De Abajo: Novela De La…
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The Peso Devaluation of 1994 and fallout from the Carlos Salinas administration opens the door to the election of the first non-PRI president of Mexico in 70 years. Vicente Fox enters office to great fanfare, yet leaves PEMEX largely untouched, even after the "PEMEXGate" scandal seemed to present him the perfect opportunity to reform it. No one eve…
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