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Mexico Wants Exploration Rights in the Gulf

The Mexican government is seeking recognition for Mexico's right to the area

The Mexican government said this week it has taken legal steps to solidify its claim and help start oil exploration in a section of the Gulf of Mexico outside standard territorial limits.

The area lies outside both the United States and Mexico's 200-mile territorial limits, a gap known as "the doughnut hole."

The Mexican government is seeking recognition for Mexico's right to the area.

The two nations divided up the area under a bilateral agreement signed in 2001, in which Mexico obtained rights to about 60 percent of the 6,500-square-mile gap. The agreement was intended to sort out potentially lucrative rights to offshore oil exploration.