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Mexico's governing party expects energy industry reforms soon

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Mexico City, Aug 11 (EFE).- The energy industry reforms advocated by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto will be known in "the next few hours" and will "go deep," but the state will retain control over the sector, Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, chairman Cesar Camacho said Sunday.

State-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, "is not for sale, the crude belongs to Mexicans, but it needs to be exploited with intelligence and rationally, and we cannot allow the national wealth to stay in the ground for decades due to lack of resources," Camacho told the PRI's National Council in the Gulf city of Veracruz.

Mexicans want reforms that "do not become straitjackets and offer plenty of room for officials to move freely," Camacho said.

The goal is to reform the Mexican Constitution's Article 27, which says all subsoil resources are the property of the state, the PRI chairman said.

The reforms would open the way for Pemex to forge strategic alliances with private investors "in which the country does not lose control" over petroleum resources, Camacho said.

Investors would have to adjust to the rules and regulations established by law, Camacho said.

The left opposes any effort to privatize Pemex or open the oil industry to private investment.

The opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, plans to hold a national referendum on the future of Pemex, energy industry reform and an overhaul of the tax system.

Pemex has a monopoly on the production of oil and gas, as well as on the production of petroleum derivatives and the distribution of gasoline.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130811/mexicos-governing-party-expects-energy-industry-reforms-soon