ExxonMobil plans to open its first Mexican service station in the second half of the year, joining the likes of BP in the country’s newly opened motor-fuels market.

ExxonMobil said its first Mobil-brand station would be in central Mexico, and others would follow this year. The company plans to invest $US300 million ($402m) over the next decade in fuels logistics, product inventories and marketing.

“Recent energy reforms present a unique opportunity to help meet the growing demand for reliable fuel supplies and quality service in Mexico,” the Irving, Texas, company said.

Exxon is the latest oil major to take the plunge into Mexico’s 800,000 barrel-a-day fuel market, which was opened to foreign investment last year. BP launched its first service station in March and expects to have 1500 in operation after five years.

Until last year, Mexico’s petrol stations were all franchises of state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, which was also the only petrol and diesel supplier. Under the 2013 overhaul of the country’s energy laws, the market is undergoing a makeover.

With only one service station for every 3000 vehicles, compared with one for every 1650 in the US, according to energy officials, Mexico has plenty of room for expansion.

Extracted from The Australian.