US based Gulf Oil LP is entering Mexico’s gasoline retail market and becoming the first foreign company to do so after the energy reform ended more than seven decades of government monopoly in the sector.
Gulf Oil LP will open its first four gas stations in Mexico in June and July and aims to operate at least 100 by the end of 2016, said the company. In the next three years, Gulf Oil hopes to reach the target of 2,000 gas stations, El Universal reported.
Gulf has a target of gaining 25% of the national market, which currently comprises more than 10,000 gas stations across Mexico and to “to give Mexicans a choice,” Gulf’s Director for Mexico, Sergio de la Vega, said.
Until now all gas stations in the country have been franchises of the state-owned oil company, Pemex. Mexican gas stations sell fuel at a fixed price, and Gulf Oil LP will be subject to the same system. However, officials have said that they may allow prices at the pump to vary according to market forces in the future, ABC news reported.
Mexican government is looking to accelerate its opening of the fuel market in an attempt to spur investment, as slumping global oil prices have forced the country to slash its budget. Under the current reform, private businesses will be able to import gasoline and diesel as of 1st April instead of in 2017 as initially planned.