Energy Secretary Coldwell addresses Congressmen yesterday. Energy Secretary Coldwell addresses Congressmen yesterday. excélsior

Gasoline supplies at ‘crisis’ levels: secretary

Storage, distribution challenges as Mexico is now fourth-largest gasoline consumer

Mexico is going through a gasoline supply crisis due to the fact that there are no more than three days’ worth of inventory, the Energy Secretary warned yesterday.


Appearing before the Permanent Commission of Congress, Pedro Joaquín Coldwell said that while Mexico is creating a robust and competitive market for gasoline, supplies remain at a risky 7% of the capacity recommended under international standards.

Coldwell said storage and distribution infrastructure has not kept pace with demand during the last 13 years, during which time Mexico’s gasoline consumption has soared to the point where it is now the world’s fourth largest consumer, moving up from eighth largest.

He said that over the course of many decades Pemex was unable to invest enough in infrastructure because the formula used to price gasoline did not take into account all the costs of getting the product to the consumer.

He said modernization of the infrastructure is now a matter of energy security. Authorities are working on a national policy that will include a private system of transportation and storage, regulated by the state and operating alongside Pemex.

That and other measure will serve to improve energy security, the Secretary said.

Coldwell said another factor affecting supplies is a pipeline network that does not have the necessary capacity. This has forced Pemex to resort to trucking fuel at a cost that is 14 times higher than moving it by pipeline.


It has also been reported that Pemex was not prepared for having to store large volumes of imported gasoline, which led to shortages in states in the Bajío region and the center of the country.

Mexico is currently importing as much as 53% of its gasoline requirements.

Imports hit a record high last July when Pemex’ six refineries were able to produce just 30% of demand.

Coldwell was appearing before Deputies and Senators to explain the January 1 fuel price increase that amounted to between 15% and 20% and triggered widespread protests throughout the country.

The government has justified the price hikes with three fundamental reasons: international petroleum prices rose 60% during 2016, the exchange rate grew 13% in the same period and the international price of gasoline went up more than 25% in most countries, reported the newspaper Excélsior.

But many Mexicans remember the promises that began during President Enrique Peña Nieto’s election campaign and continued up until last year: energy costs would come down as a result of structural reforms.

Gas prices are now up 48% since Peña Nieto took office.

Source: SIPSE (sp), Excélsior (sp), BBC Mundo (sp)

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  • Güerito

    In other words: Situation Normal – All F*cked Up.

  • Jeannie Kezlan

    Thankful for all of the great public transportation here. I do nt need to drive for awhile .

    • Henry Wilson

      and how will you get around when all of that public transport you love so much comes to a screeching halt because there are no gasoline supplies? they don’t run on electricity, my friend.

      • Jeannie Kezlan

        WEll, I guess this would be a problem. For certain I will stock up on beans and rice and hope to catch a few shrimp or small fish in the lagoon behind my house and hope the fruit and vegetable truck can get thru.

        • mikegre

          You can make a rudimentary spear out of a tree branch and use it to kill lizards.

          • Jeannie Kezlan

            guess if I am hungry enough I could do that. jajajaja

      • Hailey Mannering

        In villages, some public transit is by tricitaxi. In cities, some is by electric trains. Buses and emergency vehicles should get priority over private vehicles.

        • Henry Wilson

          where in all of mexico is an electric train? i have been everywhere and have never seen one. your last sentence i can agree with. but the corrupt government of mexico has never cared about what is best for the greatest good.. only those who can pay for it….and a little extra to “grease the wheel.”

          • Hailey Mannering

            Perhaps I´m wrong but I assumed the subway in Mexico City does not run on gasoline.

          • Henry Wilson

            you are not wrong, but any foreigner, traveler or expat who rides that thing has a death wish.

          • The subways are better because there are no Henry Wilsons on them.

          • Henry Wilson

            ah…but we are waiting for you when you get off.

          • Luis Delgado

            how come? racism?

  • AgesOfReason

    How is it possible that an entire country could cave to a rag tag group of domestic terrorists that suck gasoline from a well defined pipeline?

    • Henry Wilson

      simple. its mexico, man!

  • Henry Wilson

    gasoline supplies dry up and mexico comes to a screeching halt…literally. if that does not worry the mafiosos running this nation at the top then they are even more stupid than they are corrupt.

  • The transition away from fossil fuels is necessary as their continued use is making the climate catastrophe worse. The best thing that can be done with oil, gas, and coal is to leave it in the ground.

  • Linda Sonna

    The independent Mexican press posted docs yesterday showing that instead of using profits to repair and renovate Pemex & CFEs aging infrastructure, billions of pesos were withdrawn from CFE and Pemex accounts last year alone and deposited into congressional accounts marked “other” and “benefits,” and from there the disbursement of the monies can’t be traced. Hence, Mexicans believe the politicians stole the money. The gov has been claiming the shortages & price hikes is due to the theft of gasoline by the narcotraficantes, who have supposedly been stealing it and selling it at a discount. But during the gasolinazo, people would have been glad to buy from the narcos – only no one can find where they are selling it. And after having setting up military check points throughout the country. no reports that the military found any illegal gas. It’s hard to know what to believe.

  • Tijuanenses

    This is the same as the Iraq invasion , Big Oil Companies appropriation of Natural Resources from a Sovereign Country, though done in a different way as opposed to Iraq, in this case Andres Sepulveda’s Hacking Team did a hit job on Mexican Democracy, opening the door for an Ilegimate presidency of the PRI , as soon as Nieto took office within a month he had already put the plan in motion that would culminate in January 1st 2017 that would open the oil market to foreign Big Oil Companies.