US private firm to sell gasoline in Mexico

Mexico City, March 12 (IANS) US company Gulf will become the first private firm in almost eight decades to compete with government-owned company Pemex in selling gasoline in Mexico, the media reported on Saturday.

The US company hopes to open its first batch of four gas stations by July with plans to open 100 stations in cities across the country by the end of 2016, Xinhua quoted Sergio de la Vega, director general of Gulf Mexico, as saying on Friday.

Since 1938, after the expropriation of the oil industry, fuel was only sold in Mexico by Pemex.

With energy reforms enacted in 2013, the door opened for the private sector to sell and distribute gasoline in the Mexican market.

“We are interested in using the existing infrastructure through cooperation with the Pemex franchisees,” said the director general.

Free importation of gasoline was scheduled for 2017, but Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said in February that the date had been brought forward to April 1, 2016.

Gulf is the first company to enter Mexico and set dates for the start of operations.

Currently, there are around 11,000 gas stations in Mexico, all under Pemex’s franchise scheme.

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