Mexican Congress ‘near energy reform vote’

Winds of change: Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto outlines his proposal for energy reforms in Mexico City

Upper house to vote next week as Senate moves closer to implementing energy reforms, report says

Mexico’s Senate will next week vote on legislation aimed at opening up the North American country’s oil industry to foreign players, according to a report.

Committee members in the upper house of Congress are to convene on Monday for the vote, Reuters reported, citing the head of the Senate energy committee, David Penchyna.

If the rules and regulations are passed, they will then go to the lower house of the Senate for a vote.

The Senate has been debating competing proposals on how to change or rewrite 21 separate laws needed to implement the reforms, a gargantuan and lengthy task.

Upstream reported recently that lawmakers in Mexico are expected to target completion of the nation’s new oil reform laws between late next month and mid-August after missing an initial 23 June deadline to complete the process.

If that target area can be met successfully, the timetable for Mexico’s initial public bid round could remain intact.

Data on the round is scheduled for release at the end of this year, and awards are scheduled for mid-2015.

Mexico’s Congress voted last year to end the 75-year monopoly of state oil company Pemex and open the country’s oil and gas sector to private competition, part of a broad reform spearheaded by President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The final law will also determine how the reform will be delivered, such as how the country will move from a controlled price model to a market-driven one. This must be done with care to avoid public outcry, particularly since the Pena Nieto administration has promised that the reforms will bring energy prices down.

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