FACTBOX-Mexico energy reform debate

April 8 Tue Apr 8, 2008 7:15pm BST

April 8 (Reuters) - Latest developments as Mexico's ruling conservatives court PRI and PRD opposition lawmakers to agree on an energy reform proposal aimed at revitalizing the country's flagging oil industry.

Compiled from Reuters stories, Mexican newspaper reports, television and radio.

** With Congress only open for three more weeks, the ruling National Action Party, or PAN, is expected to present a reform bill on Wednesday or Thursday, after weeks of talks in the Senate energy committee failed to reach a multiparty consensus.

** PAN Sen. Gustavo Madero and party leader German Martinez say the proposal will not include a controversial clause to allow risk-sharing contracts in oil. The idea was central to a government plan to shore up flagging oil output and reserves but hit opposition from left-wing and centrist lawmakers.

** In a flurry of activity in government corridors, Interior Minister Juan Camilo Mourino met ruling party legislators, but Energy Minister Georgina Kessel canceled a meeting with lower house speaker Ruth Zavaleta, of the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD.

** Sen. Francisco Labastida, of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, tells reporters at the Senate he sees it "very difficult" for an energy reform proposal to be passed before Congress winds up on April 30.

** With it looking less likely a reform will lead to private partnerships in deep-sea oil, state oil monopoly Pemex's exploration and production chief Carlos Morales says Mexico will need to diversify and look at shallow as well as deepwater oil.

** The PRD halts vote-counting and declares no result to its March 16 leadership election, leaving a dispute simmering between a candidate keen to debate energy reform in Congress and a more radical rival seen backing street protests.

** Kessel says an energy reform could improve productivity among Pemex's workforce, and PAN senators say allowing private investment in refining could allow Mexico to reduce fuel imports and eventually become a net exporter of gasoline. (Reporting by Catherine Bremer and Miguel Angel Gutierrez)

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