New Gas Station Opening

Actually, it's not another Pemex
BY: HANNAH GORSKI

A new gas station is under construction at the intersection of Calle Abasolo and Jalisco, near Chedraui in La Paz, and no, it’s not Pemex. Repsol, a company out of Spain, is opening the new station. You might recognize the name as its service stations have popped up around Baja Sur for the past few months.

Active in Mexico for 10 years, Repsol distributed gasoline and assisted in exploration and production. Last year, Mexico opened its fuel market and Repsol, as well as many other companies, were able to open service stations, import fuel, and acquire mineral rights for offshore drilling. 

Familiar names like Chevron entered the market by way of the boarder state Sonora, while others, like Repsol, popped up in Mexico City. Big companies like Exxon Mobile and Shell opened stations this year on the Mexican mainland and have plans to expand.

The companies are filling a gap in service stations throughout the country. According to the Energy Regulator Commission (CRE), there is only one gas station per 10,560 people in Mexico and the country continually ranks in the top 10 nations for gas and diesel consumption. The gas giants see this as a major opportunity and fuel is crossing the US – Mexico boarder, heading south, by train and truck. Yes, Mexico has lots of oil, but not enough refineries to turn it into gasoline.

La Paz serves as the entry point to Baja Sur for several companies. Chevron opened its first station in the state, on Blvd. Forjadores, marking its 7th station in the country. Repsol has two stations and one on the way. Eco Gasolineras has seven stations in La Paz as well as several stations in Tijuana and Mexicali. The rush into Mexico’s gasoline market leaves room for competition and new services.

Repsol prices could be as much as 40 centavos cheaper per liter than Pemex while Eco Gasolineras claims to be 50 centavos cheaper. Chevon and Repsol, among others, include additives in their gasoline. Most stations include a convenience store and one local claims the Palmira Repsol on the road to Pichilingue and the beaches has the best ice in town. Best ice? Yes there are different grades of ice. Good ice lasts longer, bad ice melts before your very eyes.

Currently, there are five Repsol stations open throughout the state: two in La Paz, one in Cabo, one in El Sargento, and another in Bahía Asunción. The company plans to open seven stations in La Paz and as many as 20 stations throughout the state this year. Including the stations in BCS, by the end of this year Repsol hopes to open 200 stations across the country. They want to continue that trend each year for the next five years. At that time, Repsol anticipates to corner eight to ten percent of the Mexican fuel market.

In La Paz, there will be no shortage of service stations. The stated date for the new Repsol on Callada Abasolo to open is June 17. A separate convenience store will allow you to grab that wonderful bag of ice or a quick snack while you fill up your tank. And as each company expands throughout the country and the state, perhaps those long road trips up and down the peninsula will provide more options at a fewer centavos per liter and a cleaner engine.

And don’t let your guard down just because of the name. Reports are the Chevron dealer just north of the Cabo airport is already pulling the old slight of hand trick on customers. Watch the pump and watch your money everywhere. ,