BP reaffirms its partnership in Mexico with indebted Pemex

BP, a major foreign player in the Mexican market of service stations, has two years in the country with 450 units operating in 26 of the 32 Mexican states, although today they all depend on the fuel sold to them by Pemex, Álvaro Granada, general manager of BP in Mexico, explains to AFP.

"BP and Pemex have a strategic relationship and our interest is to continue having it, the longer and more fruitful the better," the executive said in a telephone interview on Thursday.

This dependence affected its business in January when a government strategy against the growing crime of fuel theft, based mainly on the closure of Pemex's transportation pipelines, forced BP to stop several of its gas stations due to shortages, mainly in the region. Central of Mexico.

Some 76% of the country's petroleum products are transported through pipelines, according to official data in 2017.

The crisis raised the need "to try to accelerate and strengthen" the development of its supply chain in some regions of the country, explained Granada.

"It's not an alternative chain. It's not that we want to jump to Pemex or that we want to break a strategic alliance that for us is critical," said Granada.

A good business

Pemex, which monopolized the Mexican oil industry for more than 70 years until the 2013 energy reform opened the sector to private investors, is still a producer but above all an importer of almost all the fuels consumed in the country.

In the next 12 months, BP plan to surpass the nuber of sites it has in United Kingdom and reach the first three places by the end of 2021, when they complete their goal of opening 1,500 gas stations in Mexico.

"Half of the (3,000) new stations that BP plans to open in the world are going to be in Mexico," concluded Granada.