HOUSTON -- The social media rumors are true. In what could be called "Pemex-Tex," Pemex has come to Houston.
Petróleos Mexicanos, the national oil company of Mexico, opened the first of five planned gas stations in the Houston market--its first in the United States--on Dec. 3.
Tweets in late November showed a Pemex and “Taco Shack” sign at an under-construction site in Houston, suggesting a northward incursion by the oil company.
The Pemex-branded stations are owned by third parties, franchisees who invested in the stations and who will determine the retail prices of fuel according to market conditions in Houston, the company said.
This opening is part of a strategy to expand Pemex in the United States as part of its mandate to focus on activities that generate economic value in an environment arising from energy reforms that will allow the company to be more competitive.
This pilot phase will measure the impact of the brand against other Pemex stations in Mexico and identify business opportunities as part of the assessment process for potential entry into external markets.
Pemex chose Houston at this early stage because of its high population, specifically Mexican Latino, as well as being a city with high levels of competition in the gas station market.
The gasoline these U.S. stations sell will come from the U.S. wholesale market, said Pemex.
José Manuel Carrera, Petroleos Mexicanos' corporate director of alliances and new business, and Marcelo Parizot, Pemex's director of marketing of industrial transformation, attended the opening of the new gas station in Houston.
“We want to be put to the toughest test,” Carrera told FuelFix.com (click here to view additional images from the opening). “We’re trying to bring Mexico closer to American consumers.”
He added, “In terms of historic importance, it’s the first time Pemex puts a gas station outside the Mexican borders. We’re very excited.”