September 19, 2018 / 7:20 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico's new president should postpone oil auctions -former Pemex official

(Adds details, context)

By Collin Eaton

HOUSTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - A former Petroleos Mexicanos board member said on Wednesday Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has enough political support to change the nation's energy law and should postpone planned competitive oil auctions until the law is revised.

Fluvio Ruiz Alarcon said, following an address at the Baker Institute of Public Policy, the new administration will have the clout in congress to roll back portions of the nation's landmark energy reforms that opened its oil fields to foreign investment.

Lopez Obrador, who takes office in December, handily won Mexico's presidential election in part by promising sweeping changes to Mexico's energy industry. One of his aims is to have Pemex, the state-owned oil company, select its partners instead of having them chosen in auctions run by Mexico's National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH).

"Pemex should choose its own allies," said Ruiz. "The hydrocarbon law says that it is CNH that makes the bidding for the alliance of Pemex. They say, `who wants to marry Pemex?' They say, `who offers more?' We want Pemex to choose."

He also said Mexico should postpone the competitive tenders for Pemex joint ventures that are scheduled for February until the law is changed. (Reporting by Collin Eaton Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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