Mexico bill to propose forced Pemex stake in cross-border deposits -report

miércoles 2 de abril de 2014 13:31 GYT

MEXICO CITY, April 2 (Reuters) - Mexico's government plans to propose that state oil company Pemex be obliged to take at least a 20 percent investment stake in any deposits that straddle the country's borders, under the fine print of a major energy overhaul, local newspaper El Economista reported on Wednesday.

The paper said the government had finished writing at least two sections of the so-called secondary legislation that will implement the sweeping energy reform passed by Congress last year.

The completed laws include a rewrite of Mexico's Hydrocarbon Law, which will govern production and regulation, and the Federal Electricity Commission Law, which will make changes to Mexico's state-owned electric company CFE, El Economista said, citing documents.

"The obligatory participation will be at least 20 percent," the paper cited one document as saying. It added that the document did not specify whether the cross-border fields in question were oil or natural gas, onshore or offshore.

The Energy Ministry said it could neither confirm nor deny the report.

David Penchyna, head of the Senate's energy committee and a top lawmaker with the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, told Reuters the documents had not been drafted by the government but declined to comment when asked about any obligatory participation for Pemex.

The energy overhaul signed into law by President Enrique Pena Nieto late last year ended Pemex's 75-year monopoly on crude production and paved the way for first-ever joint ventures with foreign oil majors.

The reform opens up the possibility of a range of contracts extending from profit-sharing, production sharing and licenses. It is also seen as an engine of future growth in Latin America's No. 2 economy.

Industry analysts say mandatory stakes in some oil and gas projects are not uncommon but can distort the market.   Continuación...