Mexico Near Energy Reform Deal But Presentation Delayed

Reuters

MEXICO CITY, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Mexican senators on Friday were near agreement on offering private companies lucrative contracts providing them a share of oil production, but presentation of the draft constitutional reform was delayed to allow details to be hammered out.

Officials said Senate committees could unveil the reform at the weekend and start debating one of the cornerstones of President Enrique Pena Nieto's economic reform drive on Monday.

State monopoly Pemex dominates Mexico's oil industry, which was nationalized in 1938. The government wants to attract private investment to revitalize crude output, down 25 percent from its peak in 2004. But any full-blown concessions to private companies would draw fierce opposition from many in Mexico, where the oil industry is a source of national pride.

The ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has been at loggerheads with the conservative National Action Party (PAN) on details of the reform, with the PAN pushing for contractual schemes including licenses and the production-sharing contracts favored by oil companies.

Lawmakers, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the meeting could be moved to the weekend.

PAN Senator Jose Rosas Aispuro, vice president of the upper chamber, told Reuters lawmakers were nearing positions on the idea of production-sharing licenses, and were still haggling over how deep the energy sector opening should be.


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