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Mexico's Congress Votes to Open Oil Industry to Private Investors

posted on December 13, 2013

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's Congress has voted to open up the country's moribund state-run oil industry to private investment, following a raucous, hours-long debate over the most dramatic energy reform in decades.

The vote in the lower house Thursday all but guarantees that President Enrique Pena Nieto will achieve the biggest piece of his reform package,  allowing the government to grant contracts and licenses to private companies to explore and drill for oil and gas.

That's currently prohibited under Mexico's constitution, as the country's oil has been a symbol of fierce nationalism and sovereignty.

The bill now has to be approved by the legislatures of 17 of Mexico's 31 states and Federal District.

Tags: Mexico mexico congress oil President Enrique Pena Nieto