Mexico's President Meets with Top Oil Cos, Talks Energy Reform

Mexico's President Felipe Calderon
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MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones Newswires), Jan. 30, 2009

Mexican President Felipe Calderon met with top executives from some of the world's largest oil companies at the World Economic Forum in Davos, his office said on Thursday.

"During the meeting, the Mexican leader said this year the Mexican energy sector will start making important changes following the approval by Congress of the reform," said his office in a statement.

Last October Mexico's Congress approved an energy reform that allows state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos to offer service contracts where payments are linked to the success of the project.

Calderon met with the CEO's of BP PLC, ExxonMobil, Petrobras, ENI, Total, Statoil and Chevron.

Calderon has admitted that the reform has shortcomings, such as not letting Pemex sign production-sharing agreements with outside firms.

Just the same, Pemex officials have said the company has maintained the close contact with Statoil and Petrobras on potential oil projects under the company's new legal framework.

Mexican oil production fell 9% last year and has plummeted by 26% since 2004, putting the country at risk of a fiscal crisis if the trend continues. Pemex has boosted spending in recent years on oil field development, but the company does not expect output to return to 2007 levels of 3 million barrels a day until 2015.  

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