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Latino Daily News

Friday October 25, 2013

Mexican Senators to Debate Energy Industry Reforms

Mexican Senators to Debate Energy Industry Reforms

Photo: Mexican Senate

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Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said he was confident that the Senate would work its way through the three energy industry reform proposals and approve a far-reaching bill.

The conservative National Action Party, or PAN, presented a bill on July 31, while President Enrique Peña Nieto unveiled his energy industry reform proposal on Aug. 12 and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, released its own plan a week later.

The Peña Nieto administration’s proposal could be combined “with the other ones made by National Action and Democratic Revolution, which have different visions that could be melded into just one,” Coldwell said during an appearance before the Senate.

The PAN proposed constitutional changes that would allow private investment in oil production and the distribution of petroleum derivatives via auctions and contracts.

The PRD, for its part, wants state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, to retain its monopoly over the industry and to get budgetary independence without changing the Mexican Constitution.

Peña Nieto presented a bill to Congress that would change Article 27 and Article 28 of the Mexican Constitution, opening the way for the private sector to invest in oil and gas exploration and production projects via profit-sharing agreements with the state.

The three proposals, which the Senate must review and debate, contain the elements to forge “an energy reform of great weight,” Coldwell said.

“We want to form partnerships with whoever can responsibly provide capital (and) technology, and take on the financial and geological risks that exploration and production in deepwater and ultra-deepwater areas entail, and not in conventional fields,” the energy secretary said.

Mexico must adopt an energy industry model that is more transparent in terms of managing petroleum revenues and with an eye on the future, expanding environmental protection and turning Pemex into an engine for the development of a national chain of suppliers, Coldwell said.

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