As Latin America’s national oil companies (NOCs) pivot toward partnerships with the private sector and divestment of non-core assets, Mexico’s Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) remains an outlier even in the wake of Covid-19, a panel of experts agreed earlier this month.

Pemex basket price

Even before the pandemic, the region’s oil-exporting countries were struggling to navigate a “lower-for-longer” oil price environment, said Jeremy Martin, vice president for energy and sustainability at the Institute of the Americas during a virtual event hosted by fellow think tank Inter-American Dialogue.

This sparked a trend of streamlining and divestment at state oil companies such as Brazil’s Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) and Colombia’s Ecopetrol.

Through the end of this year and into 2021,...