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Mexico clears energy hurdle, opens sector to private investors

Measure a victory for President Enrique Peña Nieto.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Aug. 7, 2014 at 9:24 AM
| License Photo

MEXICO CITY, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Mexican legislators cleared the way to open the nation's energy sector, a move President Enrique Peña Nieto has said is necessary for economic reform.

Mexican lawmakers in a late Wednesday session put the final touches on legislation aimed at drawing international energy companies into the nation's energy sector. The move opens Mexico up to private investors after more than 70 years under a monopoly controlled by state-run Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex.

The legislation is a victory for Peña Nieto, who came to power in 2012 with promises of sweeping economic reform.

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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