Mexico Senate pushes back talks on key energy reform legislation

MEXICO CITY, June 4 (Reuters) - Mexico's upper house on Wednesday pushed back discussions on the final touches to the country's landmark energy reform, which seeks to lure new investment into the sector and boost growth in Latin America's second-largest economy.

Congress passed the basic legislation last year to open the oil and gas industry and end the 75-year-old stranglehold that state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has held over the sector. But it must still approve so-called secondary laws to implement those changes.

Select committees in Mexico's upper house were set to begin official discussion of the secondary laws on Friday, with talks due to stretch to June 17.

But on Wednesday, lawmakers agreed to push back the window for talks to between June 10 and June 23, with a commission-wide vote on June 25.

The government hopes to pass the secondary legislation before the end of June.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) lacks an outright majority in Congress and is relying on support from the conservative National Action Party (PAN) to see through the energy reform.

The PAN, however, has made backing of the energy overhaul conditional on state legislatures passing a political reform it fought to extract from the PRI.

Once being approved by the commissions, lawmakers are set to call an extraordinary session of Congress to vote on the secondary laws.

Pena Nieto hopes the energy reform will deliver a significant boost in oil production, which has fallen by 25 percent since hitting about 3.4 million barrels per day in 2004.

(Reporting by Noe Torres; Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Ken Wills)