MEXICO CITY –Mexico’s legislative movement to open the country to direct foreign participation in oil and gas licenses is progressing.
Most recently, Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Congress, passed aset of laws that describe how private companies could enter production-sharing contracts with Mexico and enter joint ventures with PEMEX. The regulations were earlier approved by the Senate.
These legislative moves are designed toimplement the amendment to Mexico’s constitution that precluded ownership of hydrocarbons by any entity but the state. The Chamber did make some changes to the Senate version.
One potentially significant alteration made by the Chamber of Deputies was to increase the amount of money to go to state and municipal governments from hydrocarbon production. The lower house changes also included percentage payments to landowners for oil or gas produced from their properties and removed a ban on worker profit sharing by oil companies, reports the Wall St. Journal.
Further, the lower house called for the government to assume part of the pension liabilities held by PEMEX and the state electric utility.
These changes now go back to the Senate for approval. The oil workers’ union has not yet responded to the changes.
There remain a number ofother energy-related items to be addressed with new rules following the constitutional amendment.