Exxon jumping in to Mexico fuel market with first U.S. cargo

Exxon Mobil Corp. is joining Chevron Corp. and other U.S. refiners to supply the newly free Mexican fuel market.

Exxon sent two cargoes totaling 120,000 barrel of diesel and gasoline Wednesday from its refinery in Beaumont, Texas, to a private terminal in San Luis Potosi.

The company is moving cargoes along Kansas City Southern Railway Co.’s network and plans to utilize the San Jose Iturbide terminal in Guanajuato state, which is being expanded, to bring in more supplies. Eventually, it aims to move product from all of its refineries along the Gulf Coast.

“Exxon Mobil is the first company to compete in the Mexican fuel market in an integrated form,” Carlos Rivas, general director of fuel for the company in Mexico, said Wednesday in a phone interview

An increasing number of foreign firms plan to invest in ports terminals, fuel-storage facilities and other logistics infrastructure to compete with state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos, the country’s primary fuel vendor and distributor.

After years of preparation, last week Mexico finished liberalizing prices for gasoline and diesel across the nation.

Mexico is aiming to boost its fuel-inventory capacity to 30 days worth, in line with an international recommendation for 36, Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said Wednesday in Guanajuato, Mexico.