Mexican Senate gives general approval to historic energy bill
MEXICO CITY Dec 11 (Reuters) - Mexico's Senate has given general approval to a landmark energy reform that seeks to attract private capital to the state-run oil and gas industry in the biggest overhaul of the sector since it was nationalized in 1938.
The overhaul is designed to lure private companies and oil majors to operate independently in Mexico or partner with state oil giant Pemex through production- and profit-sharing, service contracts and licenses.
After giving the bill general approval just before midnight on Tuesday, Senators will now work through the night to vote on dozens of reservations put forward by mostly leftist opponents to the plan.
Few, if any, of the reservations are likely to be upheld due to congressional support for the bill. The ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party and nearly all of the center-right National Action Party are squarely lined up behind the initiative.
Together the two make up more than two-thirds of Congress.
Final Senate approval is expected on Wednesday, after which the reform will pass to the lower house.