Private Companies Increase Fuels Imports, PEMEX Leads in Gas Stations,

PEMEX is losing ground in the retail sector. In December last year, private companies in Mexico broke a record by importing almost 1 of 5 liters of the gasoline and 1 of 3 of diesel sold in the country. These figures represent an increase of almost the double for gasoline and 60 percent for diesel against the rest of 2019, the National Organization of Petroleum Dealers (Onexpo) has reported.

Private companies have been importing and retailing fuel from 2016 as a result of the 2014 Energy Reform though last year saw PEMEX lose the most ground to privates since importing and retailing began.

Throughout 2019, private companies imported an average of 79,500 barrels of gasoline a day, some 13.1 percent of the total imports, and a large increase from the 3.7 percent of total imports in 2018. Private companies also imported an average of 83,100 barrels of diesel a day in 2019, or 31.7 percent of the total imported amount, while in 2018, private imports accounted for 18.9 percent of the total.

Up to 2014, PEMEX’s refineries supplied only 60 percent of the national demand for refined fuels making imports unavoidable. Brands such as Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total, BP, Arco and G500 are some of the companies already importing fuels by land (via railway) and also by sea. Others companies such as Repsol and Hidrosina have announced their intentions to follow the same steps in the near future.

Despite recent poor results from the National Refinery System, PEMEX still controls 80 percent of the retail market. According to the latest data released by Onexpo, of the 12,551 gas stations based in Mexico 10,081 belong to the PEMEX brand.

Private companies with the largest number of service stations operating in Mexico are BP (423 gas stations), Exxon Mobil (336), Repsol (257), Shell (220), Total (187) and Chevron (184). They are followed by Arco, G500, Gulf and La Gas.

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said Mexico is among the top five most attractive countries for retail opportunities. The company, headquartered in the Netherlands, currently has more than 43,000 service stations all over the world.

In a conference with analysts, Van Beurden said Shell will focus on opening around 5,000 new gas stations by 2025, mostly in emerging markets like Mexico, China, India, Indonesia and Russia. At the beginning of 2020, the Dutch firm inaugurated its 200th station in Mexico and has stated its goal increase its share of the country’s retail market to 15 percent.

The construction of new service stations was included in Shell’s 2019 expansion plan, which committed an investment of US$1 billion in infrastructure, service and product in Mexico over the next 10 years.