Mexico moves to open oil resources to foreigners

Protesters holding signs against privatising oil fields Mexico's left-wing Democratic Revolution Party has opposed the measure

Related Stories

Mexico's Senate has approved a measure to open the state-run oil fields to foreign investment for the first time in 75 years.

The measure would let private firms explore and extract oil and gas with state-run firm Pemex, and take a share of the profits.

It now moves to the lower house to be voted on, where it is expected to pass.

President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote on Twitter that it was "a significant decision for Mexico".

Mr Pena Nieto said it was necessary to modernise Mexico's energy sector and increase oil production, which has dropped from 3.4 million barrels per day in 2004 to the current rate of 2.5 million barrels per day.

However, the left-wing Democratic Revolution Party said it was a submission to US oil companies, and protesters set up camp outside the Senate.

They say the move strikes at the heart of Mexico's identity.

In 1938, then-president Lazaro Cardenas nationalised the oil industry, which had been operated by foreigners up to that point, asserting that Mexico had a right to its mineral wealth.

If the measure passes Mexico's Congress, it must then be approved by 17 of the country's 32 federal entities.

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

* May require registration or subscription

More Business stories

RSS

Features

From BBC Capital

Programmes

  • Francis Rossi, co-founder of band Status QuoHARDtalk Watch

    Status Quo's Francis Rossi explains how alcohol led him to take cocaine

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.