MEXICO CITY, July 19 Mexico's Senate gave final
approval early on Saturday to a bill to regulate the opening of
the oil and gas industries to private investment, the
centerpiece of President Enrique Pena Nieto's economic reform
The Senate voted 91-26 to approve the fine print of the
hydrocarbons law, which details the rules for private contracts
and fines, after lawmakers gave the legislation preliminary
approval early on Friday.
The bill, which fleshes out a historic overhaul of the
state-run energy sector approved late last year, will now go to
the lower house for likely approval before being signed into law
by the president.
Following a decade of falling oil and gas output, Pena Nieto
pushed through a reform in December 2013 to end state oil giant
Pemex's 75-year monopoly and allow for production and
exploration by private companies.
The reform is the central plank of Pena Nieto's plan to
boost growth in Latin America's Number Two economy, which has
lagged behind more dynamic emerging markets.
Senators are set to vote on three more energy packages,
including one that opens up the electricity market to private
companies which is slated to come up for debate later on
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper, Noe Torres and Miguel Gutierrez;
Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)