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Story by the Associated Press

Mexico has announced the opening of bidding for oil and gas drilling rights in 26 areas, the latest in a sweeping oil reform that allows participation of foreign companies.

The National Hydrocarbons Commission approved the auction for the land-based areas in five states in southern and northern Mexico, which together could yield 35,000 barrels of oil and 225 million cubic feet of gas per day.

This is the third of five sets of areas Mexico plans to auction in a first round. The previous two auctions were for areas in shallow water.

This first round of auctions has put in motion the historic reform of the energy sector passed last year. It signalled the end of a period that began with the nationalization of the oil industry in 1938.