The development of the Mexican petroleum industry to 1914
Ryan, Vincent R.
Vandiver, Frank E.
Master of Arts
In the first third of the twentieth century Mexico played a significant role in the history of oil. Large amounts of commercially profitable oil were first produced in Mexico in 191 and by 1921 Mexico was the second leading world producer of petroleum, surpassed only by the United States. This rapid development was primarily accomplished by American and British entrepeneurs operating in a favorable economic and political climate until 1914 when revolutionary forces triumphed in Mexico and established new laws which the foreign dominated oil companies viewed as discriminatory and confiscatory. Two men dominated the development of the Mexican oil industry from 19 to 1914, Edward Doheny and Weetman Pearson. Doheny was an Irish-American and Pearson became an English lord but both realized the vast potential of Mexico's oil and overcame many obstacles to successfully exploit it. During a tumultuous time of political and social upheaval, the foreign oil companies created an extensive industrial complex in Mexico centered in the Tampico region. Despite the Revolution which began in 191, Mexico was on the verge of being one of the world's major producers by 1914.