Mexican lawmakers approve overhaul ending Pemex monopoly

HOUSTON — The Mexican Congress has passed sweeping  legislation intended to revitalize the country’s anemic energy industry by opening it to private competition and ending a 75-year state monopoly.

After weeks of debate and a constitutional amendment, legislators approved this week the majority of the new laws and are expected to finalize the remaining items in the coming days. The energy overhaul is the most sweeping of a broad set of economic measures promised by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Mexico’s oil and gas industry has been largely left out of the latest oil boom, despite the general consensus that the country has a large wealth of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and trapped in shale.

Production by state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, has fallen to about 2.5 million barrels of oil a day from a peak of 3.5 million a decade ago.