Nieto announced at IHS CERAWeek an expedited schedule of December for a fourth round of investor bids on deep-water deposits in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mexico Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said the energy reform pushed by Nieto was long needed and is critical because of the decline in the energy sector.
"It changes the hydrocarbon paradigm, and it changes the electrical sector paradigm as well," he said. Coldwell said Mexico's electric rates had been 75 percent more than those in the U.S., but it is bringing them down with cheaper natural gas from the U.S. It is also working to add new pipeline capacity to bring in additional natural gas.
"We had lost 1 million barrels of daily production over 10 years," he said.
According to the International Energy Agency, Mexico produces about 2.6 million barrels a day, and the future of its production will depend on whether it gets needed investment.
"If they don't, we're going to anticipate a continued decline," said Neil Atkinson, head of the IEA's oil market division.
"We're working with Pemex as fast as we can to present 'farm-outs.' This is part of the strategy to strengthen Pemex," said Lourdes Melgar, Deputy Secretary of Energy for Hydrocarbons, Mexico Ministry of Energy, at this week's IHS CERAWeek energy conference.
Pemex is expected to remain focused on shallow water, where it is strongest. Production at Pemex's giant shallow-water Cantarell field, the second-largest in the world, has been falling since its peak in 2014. González Anaya described the decline as occurring "fairly rapidly — more rapidly than we would like."