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BP looking to grab 15% share of Mexico's retail gasoline market

BP is keeping its options open regarding fuel supply in Mexico while itseeks to seize 15% of the country's retail gasoline market, the company'sfuel director said Friday.

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BP is assessing multiple supply options, Alvaro Granada told reporters atthe inauguration ceremony of the 160th BP-branded station in Mexico.

"Our priority is that the product our consumers receive is the best pricein the market," Granada said.

Granada said BP has several supply options to achieve this goal,including buying fuel from Mexico's state company Pemex, an independentcompany, or importing the fuel itself.

"We have not committed ourselves to anything in this sense," he added.

Granada said BP in the long term seeks to build an integrated supplychain in Mexico. The company is currently evaluating several logisticsprojects, but these could take a couple of years to develop, he added.

BP wants to have 1,500 branded stations in Mexico by 2021, half of allnew stations it expects to open globally. Currently, the company hassigned 300 contracts to rebrand and build new stations, Granada said. BPexpects the number of stations under its brand will reach 500 by the endof this year.

Granada said Pemex is a strategic partner, and both companies have asupply and logistics agreement in place.

"They are providing us with good service, but I can't speak on thedetails of our agreements," he said.

The executive said BP is not importing fuel into Mexico, although it isone of Pemex's main international fuel suppliers.

Pemex still controls 99% of Mexico's gasoline imports, data from thecountry's Energy Secretariat shows.

ExxonMobil and Andeavor also import gasoline, while Koch has startedimporting diesel. However, a lack of infrastructure has limited newplayers from bypassing Pemex and directly importing large quantities.

While BP hasn't announced any major logistic projects, competitors likeGlencore, Valero Energy, Avant Energy, ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, andGrupo Lodemo are securing logistic projects across Mexico. -- Daniel Rodriguez, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Kevin Saville, newsdesk@spglobal.com