President Enrique Pena Nieto

Mexico’s senate approved four bills last week to open the oil and gas sector to private investment, reforms pushed by President Enrique Pena Nieto to revive Mexico’s declining production.

The full senate will consider the bills and then pass them to the Congress for approval.

“Pledging to reverse a decade of falling oil and gas output, Pena Nieto pushed through a reform in December 2013, ending state oil giant Pemex’s 75-year oil and gas monopoly, and opening production and exploration to private companies,” Reuters said.

The senate revised one bill that would require local content of 25 percent by 2015 and 35 percent by 2025.

Brazil requires up to 55 percent local content, Reuters said.

Final approval by the senate could come before the end of July, the report said.

Senators deleted part of the law that allowed expropriation of land containing oil or gas reserves.

They wrote new terms to allow companies to lease land and give owners a share of profits, Reuters said.

A new hydrocarbons law would spell out contact terms, penalties, and the ownership of Mexican oil and gas.

According to a report by the US Department of Energy, the oil sector generated 13% of Mexico’s export earnings in 2013.

Oil production in Mexico has steadily declined since 2004 from 3.5 million bpd to the 2.5 million bpd in 2012.

The Mexican government estimates that there’s about 90 billion barrels equivalent of natural gas and oil in the country’s deepwater and shale reserves.

Developing Mexico’s oil and gas resources could cost as much as $1.2 trillion dollars, according to a report published by Goldman Sachs.


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