Mexico Moves Closer to Opening Oil Sector to Foreign Investment

DOHUK, IRAQ, MAY 31: Kurdish engineers and other employees work at the Tawke oil field near the town of Zacho on May 31, 2009 in Dohuk province about 250 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq. The Iraqi autonomous region of Kurdistan began crude oil exports on June 1, 2009 for the first time from two major oil fields, piping around 90,000 barrels per day (bpd). (Photo by Muhannad Fala'ah/Getty Images) (National Journal)

A measure to open up Mexico's state-controlled oil and gas sector to foreign investment was debated in various committees in the country's Senate on Sunday, Reuters reports.

The bill is expected to advance to the full Senate on Monday to be voted upon, as well as the lower chamber.

If passed, the proposal would open up oil and natural-gas production and exploration in Mexico to foreign companies, a potential boon for multinational investors and corporations who have until now been shut out of the country's oil and gas market.

The measure has the backing of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who believes it would spur economic development in a sluggish economy.

For the proposal to pass, it will have to overcome opposition from left-leaning members of Mexico's Party of the Democratic Regulation who do not believe the country's oil and gas markets should be opened up to outside investors.