CHICAGO -- As the deregulation of Mexico’s transportation fuel market continues, several multinational oil companies and U.S. refiners have announced plans to supply fuel and introduce their fuel brands south of the border.
Before deregulation, Mexico’s state petroleum company, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), had a lock on the fuels distribution system, and the Mexican government set wholesale and retail fuel prices. Since deregulation began in 2013, foreign companies have been allowed to own fuel assets in Mexico and sell fuel branded and sold by suppliers other than Pemex.
Here are five familiar fuel brands debuting in Mexico in 2017 ...
Chevron is opening its first branded site “in the coming weeks” in Hermosillo, a city in northwest Mexico, according to the refiner. More sites will follow in the Mexican states of Sonora, Sinaloa, Baja California and Baja California Sur. Subsidiary Chevron Combustibles de Mexico will work with local partners to distribute, sell and import Chevron refined products.
All Chevron-branded stations in Mexico will offer gasoline with the refiner’s Techron additive, which is said to clean fuel-related deposits from engine intake systems.
“We are very excited to introduce Mexico to Chevron-branded fuel, with the engine-cleaning power of Techron,” said Brant Fish, vice president of Americas products for Chevron. “We look forward to growing our presence further in the country.”
Chevron Corp., San Ramon, Calif., has four U.S. refineries with a combined refining capacity of 931,000 barrels per day (bpd), and nearly 8,000 Chevron- and Texaco-brand fueling stations in the United States.
In July, Andeavor—formerly known as Tesoro Corp.—signed a definitive agreement for Professional Fuels Solutions S.A. de C.V. (ProFuels) to supply fuel and introduce the Arco gasoline brand in the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California. The first Arco-branded sites are slated to open within the next 60 days.
ProFuels operates gas stations and has distributed fuel in northwest Mexico since 1991. Andeavor is planning to integrate supply to Mexico through its West Coast refining, marketing and logistics system.
"We are very excited to begin operations in Mexico and to launch the Arco brand. This agreement furthers our strategic marketing integration and presents a tremendous opportunity to offer a high-quality fuel in a growing market," said Greg Goff, chairman, president and CEO of Andeavor.
San Antonio-based Andeavor has 10 refineries in the United States with a combined capacity of about 1.2 million bpd, as well as 3,000 U.S. retail sites under the Arco, SuperAmerica, Shell, Exxon, Mobil, Conoco, Tesoro, USA Gasoline and Giant brands.
In May, ExxonMobil announced it would open the first Mobil-branded gasoline station in Mexico during the second half of 2017. More sites were planned for later this year. The oil major plans to make a $300 million investment in the next decade in fuels logistics, product inventories and marketing to support retail, wholesale, industrial and commercial customers.
The branded sites would offer the Synergy product line of engine-cleaning fuels, which ExxonMobil said offers better responsiveness and fuel economy than gasoline that meets Mexico’s minimum government standards. The company will market the fuel package as Mobil Synergy Extra, Mobil Synergy Supreme+ and Mobil Synergy diesel.
Irving, Texas-based ExxonMobil has operated in Mexico for more than 130 years in the chemicals and lubricants businesses, and oil and gas exploration. In the United States, it operates five refineries with a combined refining capacity of 1.9 million barrels per day, and has more than 11,000 U.S. Exxon- and Mobil-branded locations.
The largest refiner in the United States announced plans in May to enter the Mexican fuel market in stages, Mexico News Daily reported. In the first stage, Valero Energy would invest $200 million to build three storage and distribution facilities with a combined capacity of 1.65 million barrels, in Altamira, San Luis Potosi and Monterrey.
In its second stage, Valero would begin distributing fuel via tanker trucks and train in northern and southeastern markets. It would license the Valero brand to Mexican gas-station operators, but does not plan to own or franchise sites, the newspaper reported.
San Antonio, Texas-based Valero has 15 refineries with a combined throughput of 3.1 million bpd in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. About 7,400 fueling sites feature Valero brands in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
And in early March, BP became the first multinational oil to hoist its fuel brand flag in Mexico and the first not supplied by Pemex since the country began deregulating its fuel market.
The first BP-branded location, which opened in the middle-class suburban area of Mexico City, is slated to be one of about 1,500 retail sites the major oil is opening in Mexico over the next five years. BP plans to open about 200 branded retail sites in Mexico in 2017, including a mix of dealer- and company-owned and -operated locations.
In addition to c-stores and full-service fueling islands, the sites will feature BP fuels with Active technology, a new additive package that protects vehicle engines and is available only in Mexico.
Houston-based BP has more than 6,600 branded sites and three refineries in the United States with a combined capacity of 744,000 bpd.