August 22, 2019 / 3:30 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Mexican president hails progress with pipeline firms in contract talks

(Adds media report on negotiations)

MEXICO CITY, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday that negotiations with the builders of several natural gas pipelines over a contractual dispute are going “very well.”

State-run power utility, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), has been seeking to renegotiate contracts issued under the previous government, arguing the terms were unfair.

The pipeline contracts involve companies including Canada’s TC Energy Corp, Mexico’s Grupo Carso and IEnova, a Mexican subsidiary of U.S. company Sempra Energy.

Lopez Obrador told his regular morning news conference that he expects the talks to conclude soon, without providing further details.

Mexican newspaper Reforma said the companies met with government and business lobby representatives on Wednesday evening in the capital to finalize a deal.

The negotiations focused on gas transportation fees that CFE will owe the pipeline builders and possible extensions of their contracts, the newspaper said. (Reporting by Miguel Angel Lopez Rojas, David Alire Garcia, Miguel Angel Gutierrez and Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Dave Graham and Tom Hogue)

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