UPDATE 2-Mexican oil producer Pemex says bomb threat a 'false alarm'

Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:35pm EDT

(Updates to show Pemex says threat was false alarm)

MEXICO CITY, June 18 (Reuters) - Mexico's state oil producer, Pemex, on Tuesday evacuated its Mexico City headquarters, the site of a deadly blast in January, but later said it was a false alarm.

"We've finished inspecting the Pemex tower," the company said in a message sent on Twitter at 10:25 p.m. local time/0325 GMT. "It was a false alarm."

In January, a blast at the same facility killed at least 37 people. The government said a gas leak caused the explosion, although many Mexicans questioned the explanation, speculating it may have been caused by a bomb.

Mexico's new government, which took office in December, is preparing to open up the state oil firm to private investment, which is a sensitive issue in Mexico.

Pemex has been a symbol of Mexican self-sufficiency since the oil industry was nationalized in 1938.

The government's plans, details of which have yet to be unveiled, have prompted accusations that President Enrique Pena Nieto plans to privatize the company, which he has repeatedly denied. (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter and Adriana Barrera; Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Peter Cooney and Stacey Joyce)

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