November 28, 2012 / 9:40 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico's new leader to seek consensus on energy reforms

* Pena Nieto wants to boost private investment in energy sector

* Emphasizes he will not privatize Pemex

* Will seek agreements, consensus in divided Congress

OTTAWA, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Mexico’s President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto said on Wednesday he will push ahead with legal reforms to allow more private investment in the country’s energy sector and will seek a consensus with other political parties on the changes.

Speaking in the Canadian capital Ottawa, Pena Nieto repeated that he has no intention of privatizing the state oil monopoly Pemex, a sensitive issue in his country.

“I will be proposing an initiative, working to reach agreements and a consensus with the different political forces of my country, to achieve a legal change that -- without privatizing the company that belongs to all Mexicans -- will allow for a greater private sector participation in infrastructure to unlock the country’s energy potential,” Pena Nieto told reporters after a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

More private investment is needed in exploration, production and eventually refining, he said.

Pena Nieto, who takes office on Dec. 1, wants to shake up the energy sector to boost investment and production. He plans to introduce an energy reform bill in the first half of 2013, but may face a struggle in a divided Congress to secure the constitutional reform needed to make the changes.

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