officially Petróleos MexicanosMexico's state-owned oil company.In 1938 Pres. Lázaro Cárdenas nationalized 17 foreign oil companies to create Pemex, the largest Latin American petroleum company and a major world exporter of fossil fuel. Pemex engages in exploration, production, refining, transportation, storage, distribution, and sales of oil and natural gas. In the 1970s promising oil discoveries gave rise to a national spending spree, led by the flamboyant Pres. José López Portillo and financed by massive borrowing. Crude-oil production tripled, but when the international price of oil collapsed in 1981, López Portillo raised Mexican oil prices. The country was virtually bankrupt within one year. Economic reforms have since contributed to greater stability. At the turn of the 21st century, Pemex accounted for nearly 40% of the Mexican government's income.
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