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Private Oil Made a Big Find in Mexico. Now State Oil Wants a Cut

  • Discovery hailed by reformers extends into area owned by Pemex
  • Government at work on rulebook for sharing as investors fret
Oil Declines Below 60USD A Barrel
Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg

When private drillers struck oil off Mexico’s coast this year, they didn’t anticipate sharing it with the state oil company. It looks like they’ll have to.

The discovery of as much as 2 billion barrels in July, by a group led by Houston-based operator Talos Energy LLC, grabbed the oil world’s attention. Mexico’s energy reformers celebrated. It was the first big find since the government opened the industry to investors in 2014 -- a controversial move in a country that kicked out foreign oil companies in the 1930s, and had mixed feelings about letting them back in.