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Mexico approves oil and gas reform legislation

22/07/2014 by


Mexico's Senate has approved legislation to implement historic constitutional reform that would open the country's oil and gas industry to foreign investment for the first time since 1938. 

Derrick hands remove the drilling tool with a sample of the marine seabed at La Muralla IV exploration oil rig, operated by Mexican company "Grupo R" and working for Mexico's state-owned oil company PEMEX, in the Gulf of Mexico on August 30, 2013

In an 85-26 vote, lawmakers passed the last of four packages of laws Monday to end the monopoly held by state oil company Pemex for 75 years in the exploration and exploitation of energy resources.

The Chamber of Deputies must now vote on the measures, which the leftist opposition had tried to modify.

President Enrique Pena Nieto hailed the marathon voting that began Thursday as an example of Mexico's "political civility and maturity".

The leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution and the Labor Party rejected the measures, which were initially approved in December, saying the country would be stripped of its natural resources, especially oil. They warned the law would trigger "expropriation".

The measures set rules for Pemex, which provides a third of the country's tax revenue, and the Federal Electrical Commission to function as "productive state enterprises" with autonomy.

They also pave the way for private production and supply of electricity.

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