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Activity in the Oil and Gas sector (including regulatory)

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Activity in the Oil and Gas sector (including regulatory)
Mexico's PRI Rules Out Private Investment in Oil, Reforma Says

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- A leader of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party said there isn't sufficient agreement to approve a government plan that would allow private investment in the oil industry, Reforma newspaper reported.

Manlio Fabio Beltrones, leader of the PRI party in the Senate, told Reforma in an interview that there may be enough votes, but not the desired consensus, to allow state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos to form alliances with private companies to drill for crude in deep waters.

Beltrones said the Mexican government should only allow Pemex to form alliances with other state-controlled oil companies, according to Mexico City-based daily.
Key Mexico party seen opposing oil alliances
Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:48am EST

MEXICO CITY, Feb 28 (Reuters) - A key Mexican opposition party is unlikely to back any oil sector reform proposal that would let private companies form profit-sharing alliances with the state oil company Pemex, a senior lawmaker said.

"For us, risk contracts are unacceptable for now," Sen. Manlio Beltrones told the Mexican daily Reforma.

"Personally, I don't think there's the desired level of consensus," said Beltrones, an influential Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, senator and the party's president in the Senate.

Beltrones, one of the PRI's strongest voices on energy policy, said partnerships with other state-run oil firms would be more acceptable than private sector joint ventures, which opponents say could breach a constitutional ban on companies other than Pemex drilling for Mexican oil.

Mexico is a top U.S. oil supplier but years of underinvestment have left output and reserves declining.

Lawmakers from the three main political parties are trying to draw up an energy bill to give Pemex more autonomy and flexibility, and conservative President Felipe Calderon would also like it to permit private partnerships in specific areas like deepwater oil fields on the U.S. maritime border.

Calderon needs the full backing of the PRI as his party lacks a majority in Congress. Some PRI lawmakers have said they are open to listening to the ruling party's ideas.

The left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution, however, strongly opposes private investment in the oil sector.

Many oil analysts say strategic joint ventures with experienced foreign firms could speed up Mexico's entry into the crucial but technically challenging deepwater sector.

Mexico's Plan to Open Oil Industry Lacks Support (Update1)

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon's plan to overhaul energy laws and allow private investment in the state oil monopoly lacks political support, a prominent opposition senator said.

Senator Francisco Labastida of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, an opposition group, said ``there's no chance'' that ``comprehensive reform'' will pass. He spoke in an interview today at the senate building in Mexico City.

Failure to open the oil industry may mark the biggest political defeat yet for Calderon, who managed to win support for cutting pensions and raising taxes since taking office in December 2006. Mexico, the third-largest oil supplier to the U.S., needs the help of foreign and private companies to halt a decline in crude output and reserves, Calderon has said.

Cantarell, the nation's largest oil field, is running out of crude. Taxes that exceed half of sales at state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos cut into its ability to invest in production.

Labastida, head of the Senate Energy Committee, said a narrower proposal to allow Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, to form alliances in offshore fields near the U.S. border faces less opposition and may pass. Such alliances would have to be with other government-controlled companies such as Petroleo Brasileiro SA or StatoilHydro ASA, he said.

``We may start in ultra-deep waters near the international border, where the United States is already drilling,'' Labastida said. ``Most of us, I wouldn't say all, believe we should do something about border fields.''

By doing so, Pemex would acquire the technology it needs to expand to other parts of the Gulf of Mexico, the senator said.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, believes that Petroleos Mexicanos may be able to raise capital by selling equity-like securities in certain subsidiaries to Mexican investors, he said.
Mexico's 3 Gulf Oil Export Terminals Reopen On Better Weather
February 28, 2008 12:29 p.m.
MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones)--Mexico's three oil export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico reopened on Thursday after being shut for one day, the transportation ministry said on its Web site.

The Pajaritos, Dos Bocas and Cayo Arcas ports were all open Thursday morning after bad weather cleared.

State oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos exported around 1.4 million barrels a day last month, mainly to the U.S.

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Activity in the Oil and Gas sector (including regulatory)

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