Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico’s national oil company, opened its first gas station in the U.S. on Dec 3.
This is the first time the enterprise, also known as Pemex, has opened the nation’s energy markets to foreign competition and investments in more than 70 years. Houston was chosen as the initiate city due to its high Hispanic population said Pemex officials.
Pemex already operates a refinery in Deer Park, near Houston. However, the company reported that they will not sell their brand of gas at the franchise.
The Houston location, along with the four additional stations expected to open in the city this month, are considered an important test for the company. If successful, it could expand its franchise to other markets.
“This pilot program will allow us to judge the impact of the Pemex brand against others and will identify business opportunities as a part of our evaluation process to enter external markets,” Pemex officials said in a statement.
Next year, Pemex will grant foreign businesses permits to for service stations in Mexico where they can sell fuel from any company. Private companies can import refined oil products into Mexico in 2017. Price controls on gasoline and diesel will be removed in 2018.
Article written by HEI contributor Aliyah Cole.