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Mexico tries to overhaul energy sector

Mexico tries hand at "free-market participation" for oil revival.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   May 1, 2014 at 9:15 AM   |   Comments

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MEXICO CITY, May 1 (UPI) -- Letting the free market compete with state entities could help stimulate a lackluster Mexican energy sector, the country's energy minister said.

The government of President Enrique Pena Nieto proposed changes to the way the oil and natural gas sector was governed.

One of the main features "is the free-market participation and competition between the state companies and private firms in all activities, including oil exploration and production, refining [and electricity] for the benefit of consumers," Energy Minister Pedro Joaquín Coldwell said Wednesday.

The measures, if passed, open a Mexican energy sector controlled by state-run Petroleos Mexicanos, known also as Pemex, since the 1930s.

Mexico's president is struggling to overhaul a sagging energy sector. His government set a goal of producing 3.5 million barrels of oil per day by 2025, which would be a 40 percent increase from 2013 levels.

The oil sector accounted for 13 percent of the country's export earnings last year. The country, a top 10 oil producer, had an estimated 10 billion barrels of proven oil reserves as of 2013.

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