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Nov 10, 2009

Court battle to slow roll out of Mexico oil reform

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A legal challenge to a Mexican oil reform law passed last year means international oil firms will have to wait longer for new contracts aimed at luring them back into the country.

Mexico’s lower house of Congress has asked the Supreme Court to invalidate recently published regulations for the law, which was passed in late 2008.

Nov 5, 2009

Major oil exporters eye Argus switch

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Major oil exporters in Latin America and the Middle East have expressed “strong interest” in switching the basis of their oil prices to Argus’s U.S. Sour Crude Index following Saudi Arabia’s adoption of the index, an Argus executive said on Thursday.

Euan Craik, chief executive of Argus’s U.S. operations, declined to name the countries that were studying the change but described the interest as “unprecedented.”

Oct 28, 2009

Mexico’s Pemex posts 3.69 bln peso loss in 3rd qtr

MEXICO CITY, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Mexico’s state oil monopoly
Pemex posted a loss of 3.69 billion pesos ($273 million) in the
third quarter, less than the 14.393 billion pesos it lost in
the same period a year ago, the company said in a filing with
the Mexican stock market on Wednesday.

Pemex [PEMX.UL] said its results improved due to lower
taxes and cheaper fuel imports but these positive factors were
partially outweighed by reduced volumes of crude oil exports.

Oct 21, 2009

Mexico oil output slide ending: minister

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A dramatic slide in Mexico’s oil production has come to an end and it can maintain output at 2.5 million barrels per day for the coming years, Energy Minister Georgina Kessel said on Tuesday.

Mexican crude output has plunged by nearly a quarter since peaking in 2004, straining public finances and spurring bond rating agencies to warn the country’s debt could be downgraded.

Oct 15, 2009

Laid-off Mexican workers protest utility shutdown

MEXICO CITY, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Mexican workers protested the closure of a money-losing power utility on Thursday in a challenge to President Felipe Calderon’s plans to clean up the bloated public sector.

Holding hand-scrawled placards damning Calderon, union members, leftists and students marched along Mexico City’s main Reforma avenue to the Zocalo square in support of the laid-off power workers.

The government shut down the state-run power company Luz y Fuerza del Centro (LFC) last weekend in a surprise move hailed by investors as a sign of fiscal discipline and a willingness to confront entrenched public sector interests.

But union members have vowed to resist Calderon.

"We’ve got to defend LFC because if we don’t stop things here, we don’t know where we will end up," said Miguel Contreras, a retired civil servant surrounded by banners reading "Don’t turn off the lights."

Police put the turnout at 35,000 people but protestors were still arriving in the Zocalo on Thursday evening.

The union representing 40,000 LFC workers has called on its members to reject severance pay offered by the government. Small groups of protesters, some wearing devil masks and red shirts, gathered outside LFC offices and shouted at former employees waiting for their severance pay.

"If you take your pay, you are losing your union rights and turning your back on the union," said protester Luis Alvarez, 36, who worked for LFC for 18 years. "You can’t come back to the union and ask for work."

Calderon has vowed to shake up the public sector, including state oil monopoly Pemex, and some investors hope the conservative leader will now take on oil and teacher unions that are seen as corrupt and inefficient.

But political analysts say a wider clean-up is unlikely because angering the powerful unions would likely hurt Calderon’s party in 2012 presidential elections [N15269298].

Mexico is mired in its worst recession since the 1930s and a drug war that has killed more than 14,000 people since Calderon took office in late 2006. (Additional reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Writing by Robin Emmott; Editing by Kieran Murray)

Oct 13, 2009

Mexico state utility shut due to broad policy-govt

MEXICO CITY, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Mexico’s shutdown of an
inefficient federally run power utility is part of a broader
policy to make state companies more efficient, the energy
minister said on Tuesday.

President Felipe Calderon issued a decree on Sunday to shut
down Luz y Fuerza del Centro (LFC), which supplies electricity
to Mexico City and surrounding areas, due to its massive
operating losses and growing fiscal burden. [ID:nN11549308]

Oct 8, 2009

Gazprom wants 10 pct of US natgas market in 5 yrs

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Russia’s Gazprom <GAZP.MM>
aims to take a 10 percent share of the U.S. natural gas market
within five years, Deputy Chief Executive Alexander Medvedev
said on Thursday.

The company plans to expand into the United States as it
did in Britain in recent years, Medvedev told reporters.

Oct 7, 2009

GDF Suez hopes to enter Nord Stream by year end

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 7 (Reuters) – France’s GDF Suez <GSZ.PA>
hopes to wrap up talks to join the Nord Stream natural gas
pipeline by the year end and sees no obstacles to completing
the transaction on time, a senior executive said on Wednesday.

GDF would acquire its stake in the pipeline project from
German firms in the venture, allowing Russian gas giant Gazprom
<GAZP.MM> to maintain its 51 percent shareholding, GDF’s Vice
Chairman Jean-Francois Cirelli told reporters at the World Gas

Oct 7, 2009

Natural gas to play key role in cutting CO2: study

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Global natural gas production will need to grow by 70 percent if the world is to start reducing carbon dioxide emissions quickly enough to avoid the worst effects of climate change, according to a study released on Tuesday.

World gas demand will rise to 4.8 trillion cubic meters per year by 2030 from 2.8 trillion cubic meters today, the study by the International Gas Union concluded.