World News

Dec 12, 2013 2:14 PM

Mexican Congress Approves Opening Oil Industry to Private Investments

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexico's Congress has voted to open up the country's moribund state-run oil industry to private investment, following a raucous, hours-long debate over the most dramatic energy reform in decades.

The vote in the lower house Thursday all but guarantees that President Enrique Pena Nieto will achieve the biggest piece of his reform package, allowing the government to grant contracts and licenses to private companies to explore and drill for oil and gas.

That's currently prohibited under Mexico's constitution, as the country's oil has been a symbol of fierce nationalism and sovereignty.

The bill now has to be approved by the legislatures of 17 of Mexico's 31 states and Federal District.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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