(Reuters) - An explosion on Thursday at the headquarters of Mexican state oil giant Pemex killed at least 32 people, dealing a blow to the company’s image as the government prepares a reform to draw in more private investment.
The following are key facts about Pemex:
* Mexico is the world’s No. 7 oil producer and a top exporter to the United States. Output has slumped from a peak of 3.4 million barrels per day in 2004 as major fields aged to stabilize around 2.55 million bpd.
* The Mexican government relies on oil revenues to fund about a third of the federal budget. The heavy tax burden has limited Pemex’s ability to fund new projects and lift output. The government warns that Mexico could become a net oil importer as early as 2018 if major new oil finds cannot be developed.
* The company has pinned its long-term hopes of boosting production on the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where the government estimates there are significant oilfields.
* Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in December, has made passing an energy reform bill to help boost crude production one of his top priorities in his first year.
* A reform during the last administration made a limited advance in helping draw more private investment into mature oilfields. Analysts say Mexico would need to change its constitution in order to tempt in major oil producers and give them a stake in oil discoveries.
* Last month, Mexico and Brazil agreed to look into establishing joint projects between Pemex and Brazil’s state-run Petrobras.
Compiled by Mexico City newsroom; Editing by Dale Hudson