Pemex CEO: Great energy potential in Mexico
August 14, 2013 -- Updated 1118 GMT (1918 HKT)
(CNN) -- At just 39 years old, Emilio Lozoya has arguably one of the most challenging jobs in Mexico.
The former private equity chief has a staff of 160,000 at the notoriously bureaucratic oil monopoly Pemex. He took the top job last December and is now operating in a politically charged climate of upheaval for the country's energy sector.
He seems to be enjoying the experience.
This week, President Enrique Pena Nieto proposed ending the 75-year old state monopoly on oil to allow private investment -- in a bid to boost Pemex's dwindling reserves.
Watch more: Mexico proposes oil industry reforms
"The way we foresee it is: For the first time the private sector shares the risks with Pemex," Lozoya tells CNN.
"How does it work today? Pemex has only service contracts which means I will hire for hundreds of thousands of dollars an oil platform and I have to pay them regardless whether they find oil or not. And I believe there are better ways of doing business on behalf of the state."
Read more: Natural gas rig burns in Gulf of Mexico
The plan would see constitutional amendments create profit sharing contracts with private oil companies. Potential partners like Exxon Mobil could bring expertise in areas such as drilling in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where there are an estimated 29 billion barrels of oil.
But crucially, the state would remain the owner of all reserves, something the global "supermajors" may not like. Putting proven reserves on company balance sheets is an important practice.
"They will be able to book the economic interests, but not the subsoil because the subsoil will continue to belong to the nation," says Lozoya.
So they could book what the oil is worth but not actually the oil itself, I ask.
"What the oil is worth when it is extracted. Correct."
As the son of a former Energy Minister, Lozoya has grown up with the sensitivity that surrounds Pemex. Since the appropriation of foreign-held reserves in 1938, the company has been synonymous with national pride and self-reliance.
Any move against the monopoly would always create sections of strong opposition: Street protests are planned in September and tough congressional battles lie ahead.
"I am confident the political forces in Mexico will maybe even enhance what the President has put forward in Congress and we do expect a passage in the coming months," he says.
"Mexico has great potential in the energy landscape. But the reality is that today we are importing a third of the gas we consume. And we have enormous gas reserves. This is an oxymoron. We have to make sure we convert oil and gas into jobs and technology. And this reform allows us to do so."
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Experts believe that ISIS may be using a Spanish enclave to bring jihad to Europe.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
With an efficient subway, inexpensive taxis and a good public bus system, Hong Kong is normally an easy city to navigate ...
September 28, 2014 -- Updated 2332 GMT (0732 HKT)
CNN's Ivan Watson was in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong when things got out of hand.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 2012 GMT (0412 HKT)
The world's animal population has halved in 40 years as humans put unsustainable demands on Earth, a new report warns.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1249 GMT (2049 HKT)
Every day, refugees and migrants risk their lives as they seek a new life. Now, a new report puts a figure to the number of victims.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1442 GMT (2242 HKT)
Mainstream commentators must promote positive role models to Muslims feeling victimized, writes Ghaffar Hussain.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 0613 GMT (1413 HKT)
Two men familiar with inside knowledge of ISIS speak with CNN's Arwa Damon.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2010 GMT (0410 HKT)
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 1503 GMT (2303 HKT)
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0154 GMT (0954 HKT)
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 1255 GMT (2055 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.