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Page added on March 30, 2008

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Mexico to start afresh in oil reform talks

MEXICO CITY, March 30 (Reuters) – Mexico’s ruling conservatives will seek opposition talks this week on a diagnosis of the oil sector’s critical health but have no date to submit a reform proposal, the government said on Sunday.

Energy Ministry Georgina Kessel told a news conference that the government still hopes to reach a deal with the opposition on a reform proposal as soon as possible.

However, the government’s presentation of a 22-page diagnosis of the troubled oil industry appeared to signal President Felipe Calderon would wait to achieve a wide-ranging reform rather than rush through a watered-down law before Congress takes leave on April 30.

After years of underinvestment, state-run oil company Pemex faces declining production and exports. It is only discovering one barrel of new oil reserves for every two it extracts.

Mexico is divided over whether to open Pemex up to private and foreign investment to tap deep water reserves.


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