Shell opens first Mexico gas station, eyes up to $1 billion investment
Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell opened its first gas station in Mexico on Tuesday, adding to a growing list of foreign-branded pumps in a market still dominated by the green-colored outlets of state-owned company Pemex.
Following a 2013 constitutional energy overhaul that ended Pemex` decades-long monopoly, private companies can now brand gas stations and sell non-Pemex brand gasoline and diesel, as well as import fuels.
The opportunities are huge for the private sector in the fuel market of Latin America`s second-biggest economy, with Mexico now one of the world`s biggest gasoline consumers and the top foreign importer of U.S. gasoline.
Shell said in a statement it plans to open an unspecified number of additional service stations and that investment in Mexico`s fuel sector could reach about $1 billion over the next decade "if current market conditions are maintained."
The company`s inaugural gas station, which also features a convenience store, is located in a northwestern suburb of the sprawling Mexican capital.
Shell, which in June won a shallow water exploration and production contract along with France`s Total, operates more than 43,000 gas stations in some 80 countries worldwide.
Mexico boasts some 11,400 gas stations, the vast majority of which remain Pemex franchises.