​Total to open first Mexico service station as Pemex monopoly fades

Image: Total SA

Lake Chapala,Mex. — French oil and gas major Total S.A. is opening its first fuel station in Mexico, joining a growing list of companies including BP plc, ExxonMobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell entering the market as the monopoly of state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) comes to an end.

Total announced on Wednesday it is opening its first branded station in Mexico City, along with its Mexican partner Gasored.

Victor Suarez, president of the Gasored Group, which has an existing franchise of 250 Pemex-branded stations, said the company will convert all of its stations to the Total brand over the next two years.

The stations will adopt the Total model, which will include coffee shops, the use of solar panels and charging stations for electric vehicles.

There are fewer than 7,000 EVs in Mexico, which has a population of 120 million, but future wider adoption is expected.

The stations will be located in Mexico City and in the surrounding industrialized states of Hidalgo, Queretaro, Guerrero, Morelos, Puebla,Tlaxcala and the State of Mexico.

Alexandre Duret-Proux, chairman of Total Mexico, said the fuel the company sells, much of which will initially be obtained from Pemex, will be improved with additives from his company to achieve international quality standards.

There have been complaints for years about the quality of the fuel sold by Pemex stations, with evidence that water has been added to some of it.

One of the agencies overseeding the reform process, the Energy Regulatory Commission, recently said there are now 32 non-Pemex stations in the country, with 2,178 stations overall. It estimates that the number of stations overall could double, representing US $12 billion in investment.