Mexico's Senate committees approve key part of energy bill

MEXICO CITY, July 15 Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:07pm EDT

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MEXICO CITY, July 15 (Reuters) - Mexican Senate committees gave approval on Tuesday to a law at the heart of a package that will implement the opening of the oil and gas industry to outside investment.

The Senate committees passed the hydrocarbons law, which sets out key elements of the energy reform, including contracts, fines and the ownership of Mexican oil and gas.

The legislation is part of the package of regulations known as secondary laws, which are meant to flesh out an historic overhaul of Mexico's oil and gas sector.

The committees will also vote on other aspects of the secondary laws, which will then pass on to the Senate for a vote, and from there to the lower house of Congress.

Pledging to reverse a decade of falling oil and gas output, President Enrique Pena Nieto pushed through a reform in December 2013 ending state oil company Pemex's 75-year oil and gas monopoly, and opening the industry up to private capital. (Reporting by Elinor Comlay and Noe Torres. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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