Oil Expropriation Day

Oil Expropriation Day, also known as Día de la Expropiación Petrolera, is a holiday that’s observed in Mexico on the 18th of March. This holiday commemorates the nationalization of all petroleum reserves and foreign oil companies on March 18, 1938. This nationalization of facilities and reserves was carried out in accordance with Article 27 of the Constitution of Mexico.

On this day, President Lázaro Cárdenas declared that all oil and mineral reserves found within Mexico belonged to the federal government of Mexico. The government then proceeded to establish a state-owned petroleum company known as PEMEX or Petróleos Mexicanos. It’s a day on which Mexicans can honor the sovereignty of their nation.

The History of Oil Expropriation Day

On March 18, 1938, Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas declared that all mineral and oil resources in the country belonged to the nation.

Although this proclamation prompted a boycott of Mexican products for a while by the United States, the UK, and the Netherlands, the boycott was quickly dropped when World War II began, and an alliance was put in place between the Allies and Mexico. Any remaining disputes between the Mexican government and private companies were quickly resolved.

Facts About Oil in Mexico

Below are some facts we’ve uncovered concerning oil in Mexico. We hope that everyone reading this finds it just as educational as we did.

  • Mexico is one of the largest producers of petroleum in the world.
  • Mexico is the fourth-largest oil producer in the Americas after the U.S., Canada, and Brazil.
  • In 2019, Mexico accounted for 9% of all U.S. crude oil imports.

Observing Oil Expropriation Day

In Mexico, this is a national observance, but it’s not a public holiday. That means that there may be some activities celebrating this holiday, but banks, schools, and businesses will operate under normal hours. With that being said, this is still a day on which Mexicans can feel proud of their national sovereignty.

Where is it celebrated?
Mexico (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
March 18 Monday
Next year (2025)
March 18 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
March 18 Saturday