Mexico’s PAN to Push Own Bill on Pemex Ahead of Pena Nieto

Mexico’s opposition National Action Party plans to present an energy bill seeking constitutional changes to open state-owned oil producer Petroleos Mexicanos to more competition and reverse eight years of falling output.

The plan to be presented July 31 would offer exploration and production concessions for private companies, said Gustavo Madero, the party’s president, who pledged to do “everything necessary” to win passage. The proposal would attract up to $30 billion in private investment, boost Mexican gross domestic product growth by as much as two percentage points annually and reserve majority control of projects for Mexican investors, other officials from the PAN, as the party is known, said today at a news conference.

The PAN’s announcement preempts a proposal by the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, of President Enrique Pena Nieto, who said last month his plan would be presented in September to break the monopoly of Pemex in oil fields through an alliance between the nation’s three biggest parties. Congress must pass a reform that would strengthen oversight of elections before the PAN will approve any energy initiative, lower house lawmaker Ricardo Anaya, said at the news conference.

“The model of the Mexican oil industry is exhausted,” Madero said at the news conference in Mexico City. “It’s an unworkable and unsustainable model that needs to be reformed at its base so that it can return to being productive.”

The bill would create 100,000 new jobs, Anaya told reporters today.

Broadest Reform

Luis Alberto Villarreal, the PAN’s coordinator in the lower house of Congress, said the party’s proposed overhaul would be the broadest energy proposal presented in decades.

Mexico City’s former mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, has said his opposition Democratic Revolution Party, the third member in the Pact for Mexico should “strongly” oppose Pena Nieto’s oil plan.

PAN spokesman Juan Molinar Horcasitas had said in a July 8 interview that the party is set to push for changes to the country’s charter to allow private companies to share risk in oil output.

Mexico’s peso weakened 0.3 percent today to 12.5013 per dollar, while gaining 2.8 percent this year, the best performance of 24 emerging market currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

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