Mexican Congress Approves New Rules for Oil Industry

August 6, 2014

08/05/14 The New York Times

justice - gavel and bookMexico’s Congress approved on Tuesday a sweeping overhaul of the energy industry that cleared the way for international giants to tap Mexico’s rich reserves of oil and gas.

The new legislation is the centerpiece of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s plan to jump-start economic growth by allowing competition in one of Mexico’s most stagnant sectors.

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Mexico Passes Fresh Energy Laws, Advancing Sector Reform

August 4, 2014

08/02/14 The Wall Street Journal

MEXICO CONGRESSMexico’s lower house of Congress has passed a series of laws to help reorder the energy industry, including a controversial plan for the government to take over billions of dollars in pension liabilities at the state-owned energy companies.

Passage of the new laws, which the house wrapped up in the early hours Saturday, moves Mexico closer to completing an energy overhaul passed last year, in which the constitution was amended to allow private companies to explore for and produce oil in Mexico for the first time since the 1938 expropriation of the oil industry.

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Debate rages over Mexico’s plan to open energy markets

July 31, 2014

07/30/14 Los Angeles Times

energy - gas pumpPoliticians stand on the podium in the lower house of Congress, waving signs and shouting, “Viva Mexico, THIEVES!” Outside, crowds demonstrate. The sessions drag on into the wee hours until an earthquake forces everyone to evacuate.

It might be a rather typical week in the life of Mexican legislation, if it weren’t for the momentous nature of the laws that are under discussion.

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Mexico’s Energy Battlegrounds Come Into Focus, But Rules Of Engagement Remain Undefined

May 5, 2014

634px-Rig_wind_riverForbes, 5/2/14

International investors have been abuzz about the prospect of reforms to Mexico’s energy industry ever since that country’s Congress adopted a constitutional amendment late last year that would bring private investment to the long-closed sector. In the intervening months, attention has focused on a second legislative process: one that will establish the rules and regulations that govern the new energy market. To date, these legislative efforts have given one clear sign of how the reforms will proceed: slowly.

The clock has already run out on the legislative session that was meant to iron out details of the reform process. Congress has given itself more time, declaring an extraordinary session, but the delay itself is telling. It indicates just how much daylight remains between the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) legislators and their main counterparts in the National Action Party (PAN) on key questions of regulatory oversight. The National Hydorcarbons Commission will regulate the oil sector, but sharp disagreements over that organization’s independence and leadership remain unresolved. The extraordinary session cranks up the pressure on lawmakers to come to an agreement, but it also increases the odds of a half-baked regulatory framework that diminishes regulatory stability and allows the politicization of oil sector oversight to persist.

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Mexico Parties in Final Phase of Energy Bill Negotiations

April 29, 2014

MEXICO CONGRESSBloomberg News, 4/24/14

Mexico’s two biggest parties reached agreement on key points of legislation needed to implement an energy overhaul that will end a more than seven-decade state oil monopoly, top party negotiators said.

While the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and the National Action Party, or PAN, are working out details, such as how much autonomy regulators will be granted, negotiations are in the “final phase,” said Juan Molinar Horcasitas, who runs the PAN’s political policy body.

David Penchyna, a PRI lawmaker who heads the Senate’s energy committee, said the oil proposal the federal government sends to Congress next week will be welcomed by the opposition as “a very good initiative,” declining to elaborate on contents of the bill. It will be presented before April 30, the last day of Congress’ spring session, he said by telephone.

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Mexico lawmakers see delay in energy reform fine print

April 2, 2014

Mexico BricksReuters, 4/1/14

Top Mexican congressional officials said on Tuesday that the approval of the eagerly-awaited fine print of a landmark energy overhaul will likely be delayed until at least May, meaning Congress would have to call a special session to debate it.

Passed late last year, the constitutional overhaul ended state-owned oil company Pemex’s 75-year monopoly and paves the way for billions of dollars worth of new investments in the country’s lumbering energy sector.

The reform stipulated that lawmakers have until April 20 to approve so-called secondary legislation that fleshes out key commercial and regulatory details of the reform, but Congress appears poised to bust the deadline.

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Mexican Congress approves controversial oil and gas bill

December 13, 2013

BBC News, 12/12/2013

oil rigsThe Mexican Congress has approved controversial legislation that opens the state-controlled oil sector to foreign investment.The new energy law allows private oil and gas companies to drill for oil and gas with the state-run firm Pemex in exchange for a share of the profits. It has been approved by the Chamber of Deputies a day after being passed by the upper house, the Senate.

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