Pemex re-opening fuel terminals beset by protests
Mexico City, 11 January (Argus) — Mexico's state-run Pemex said today it has resumed operations at its Mexicali fuel supply and distribution terminal that had been blocked by protests in recent days.
Pemex said fuel trucks were already working on replenishing retail stations around Mexicali, located near the US border, and across the northwestern state of Baja California.
The Rosarito terminal on the Pacific coast south of Tijuana, also in Baja California state, was reopened on 8 January, a Pemex spokesperson told Argus. But local media reports suggest the area is still subject to some demonstrations.
The unrest erupted across Mexico on 1 January, when gasoline and diesel prices increased by 14.2-20.1pc in a transition to full deregulation of the fuel market by 2018. The pump price adjustments are part of a wider energy reform that is opening up Mexico's oil industry to private investment.
Protests turned violent at times, with attacks on Pemex installations, trucks and retail outlets. In Rosarito, a protester ran his vehicle into a crowd of anti-riot police forces on 7 January, injuring nine officers.
The Baja California protests, quelled by municipal, state and federal security forces, were a messy backdrop to Pemex's first-ever open season for its storage and pipeline facilities in the region.
Starting today through 9 February, Pemex is receiving proposals from pre-qualified companies seeking to use its infrastructure in Baja California and neighboring Sonora state.
The open season includes oil storage at Rosarito, Mexicali and Ensenada, and the Rosarito pipeline system that interconnects the three strategic terminals.
The principal supply point in the region is the Rosarito maritime storage terminal, which receives waterborne cargoes and transports products by pipeline to Ensenada and Mexicali.
Pemex will award capacity on 15 February.
Open seasons for Pemex facilities in other regions will take place in stages over the course of the year.