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BP is stepping on the gas in Mexico.

On March 9, the British oil major plans to open its first filling station in Mexico City.

The company — which won two deep-water exploration blocks last December in a tender in which it partnered with Statoil of Norway and Total of France — says it will grow its petrol station network organically, but a spokesman had no more details ahead of the official launch, writes Jude Webber in Mexico City.

Mexico’s energy sector was closed to competition for nearly eight decades, with state-owned Pemex the only player in hydrocarbon exploration and production, as well as filling stations. The company’s green, white and red eagle logo is a fixture on filling stations nationwide.

Mexico has more than 11,400 service station franchises staffed by uniformed attendants – getting out of your car and filling it up yourself is unknown here.

Other gas stations have begun popping up, including Hidrosina, La Gas and OxxoGas, but so far there are no big international names in Mexico City. BP’s launch could help bring home the reality of Mexico’s landmark 2013 energy reform, which has largely remained abstract for most people so far.

The first BP station will officially launch on March 9, with Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, the energy minister, among dignitaries attending. But it expects to serve a few customers the previous evening.

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