"It's a historic moment for the company," said Emilio Lozoya, CEO of Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, speaking at the annual IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston. "It's the most important transformation Pemex has carried out since its inception."
President Enrique Peña Nieto's government is pinning its hopes on energy reform as a way to bolster the Mexican economy.
"The biggest challenge is declining production. We used to rely on one field," Lozoya said, noting that field produced 2 million barrels a day and now produces 250,000. The aging Cantarell field has been declining for years.
The international industry is lining up to participate in Mexico, now that the government has allowed outside investment in its energy industry for the first time in 75 years.
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Lozoya, in an interview with CNBC at IHS CERAWeek, said Pemex can deal with oil prices in the current $55 to $60 range, since the company has a very low "all-in" production cost of $25 a barrel.
Mexico's energy infrastructure has also lagged demand. Lozoya said that demand for gasoline and diesel fuel rose 40 percent in 10 years but pipeline capacity increased just 2 percent to 3 percent.
Lozoya said Pemex is remaking itself, creating a new governance structure. It developed a new corporate structure with upstream and downstream divisions and is also spinning off five new companies from its departments. "Pemex is moving to be an enterprise," he said.