Enrique Pena Nieto
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto and first lady Angelica Rivera salute during an Independence Day paradeReuters

Mexico is set to hold tenders for the exploration and development of oilfields by private companies early next year, according to RIA Novosti news agency.

Speaking at the Bloomberg Latin America Forum in New York, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said the market would know which oilfields were available for tender within the next six months.

"I believe that in the first quarter of the next year we will have a list of all of these fields," Pena Nieto said on Monday, as quoted by Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Pena Nieto has pursued comprehensive energy reform since he took office in December 2012, in a bid to attract foreign and domestic investment to Mexico's ailing oil, gas and electricity sectors. The reforms are a flagship policy for the President, who had promised to revitalise the economy during his election campaign.

Mexico is thought to have the world's sixth-largest reserves of shale gas, a natural gas that is trapped inside rock formations. Exploiting these formations has reinvigorated the US energy market in the past few years.

While many of Pena Nieto's predecessors had attempted to break the state monopoly in the energy sector, none had been able to push through meaningful reform.

However the Mexican parliament effectively put an end to nearly 80 years of state control in early August, voting to allow state-run companies to sign deals with private firms.

Under the new framework, private oil and gas companies will compete with state-run Pemex and will operate under contract with the Mexican state. Previously, private firms were limited to working for Pemex under service contracts.