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Senate proposal: open Mexico's state-run oil sector to private companies

A protestor holds a signs that reads in Spanish; "No to the handover of oil and electricity to foreigners," as he walks by a police barricade outside the Senate building in Mexico City, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. For a second day, the Mexican Senate postponed debating the energy reform bill presented by President Enrique Pena Nieto. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

MEXICO CITY - A Mexico senate committee is proposing to open the country's beleaguered, state-run oil sector to greater private investment.

The Senate proposal would allow the government to grant contracts to share oil and profits with multinational giants such as Exxon or Chevron, something that is currently prohibited under Mexico's constitution.

According to a draft obtained by The Associated Press, the proposal also would allow private contractors to list oil reserves in their financial statements. It goes much further than the plan introduced by President Enrique Pena Nieto in August.

The arrangements in the Senate proposal have been prohibited in the decades since 1938, when then-President Lazaro Cardenas nationalized the oil industry, a nationalist symbol that for decades that has been fiercely protected by the constitution from possible profiteering by foreign companies.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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