AuthorRodriguez, Daniel

Mexico's energy reform is expected to shift up a gear in 2019, bringing more competition to state-owned company Pemex. With new midstream projects due to open next year, private companies will be able to import more gasoline and diesel to Mexico's growing privately owned retail network.

But another shift could be seen down the road under the new Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador administration--away from Mexico's dependence on refined products imports.

Mexico will see for the first time in 2019 real competition in the fuel market in certain parts of the country.

Mexico has already liberalized fuel prices and begun granting permits to private companies to import refined products. As a result, over 40 fuel marketers have entered Mexico, securing 24% of the country's retail stations.

However, lack of infrastructure has prevented new marketers from importing their own refined products. Mexican gasoline and diesel demand are rising, and securing imports is essential, as the country's refineries are operating well below capacity.

Pemex is still responsible for over 96.5% of all gasoline and 80% of diesel imports. But that is already changing.

Glencore in August received its first gasoline shipment at its new 600,000-barrel marine terminal at the port of Dos Bocas in the southeastern state of Tabasco. This was the first waterborne shipment of gasoline contracted and unloaded at a privately developed marine terminal in Mexico.

Koch Industries has been sending waterborne diesel shipments to Vopak's marine terminal at the port of Veracruz, and ExxonMobil has been sending fuel into Mexico's Central and Bajio regions using unit train deliveries from its Beaumont refinery in Texas.

In the coming year, multiple new terminals from major oil companies are scheduled to begin operations, delivering more imported fuels to Mexico's...

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