Tim Staples
Tim Samples

The Wall Street Journal turned to Tim Samples, a Terry professor of Legal Studies, for an analysis of the market-friendly reforms proposed by the Mexican government in order to open its energy sector to competition.​

Mexico set a much lower bar of at least 25% national content and effectively will give companies a decade to comply—a blow to Mexican nationalists who want higher content rules to spur a domestic oil supply industry.

"I'm surprised it's that low and set that far out," said Samples, who is also an expert on oil regulation.

Analysts said the bill appears designed to ramp up the private production of oil and gas quickly by offering contract terms that are more attractive than in other countries such as Brazil, which saw many major oil companies take a pass on its latest bidding round last year.

Mexico’s approach "is going to create pressure on regulators to get projects up and running quickly," said Samples.