Founded by Edward L. Doheny, a prospector was successful in the 1880's from silver mines in the Black Range of New Mexico. Doheny found heavy oil in El Ebano, Mexico in 1901. Which he exported to the United States for use in paving. He formed the Mexican Petroleum Company and funded it with $6 million of his own money. In 1905, he acquired properties near Tuxpan, and Veracruz, Mexico. Forming the Huasteca Petroleum company to hold them. In 1910, his wells in the Juan Casiano Basin in the Faja de Oro field started to produce good quality oil.
The Mexican Petroleum Company eventually acquired ownership and leasehold rights to 1,500,000 acres (610,000 ha) of land of Mexico.
The Pan American Petroleum and Transport Company expanded and was incorporated in Wilmington, Delaware in 1916. As a holding company for the Mexican Petroleum Company,