(Adds background on Novum and Pemex, details of import)
HOUSTON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Houston-based trading firm Novum Energy has completed Mexico’s first private import of diesel fuel, the company said on Tuesday, after the government authorized purchases earlier this year.
Mexico, which buys some 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) of U.S. gasoline and other fuels to satisfy its domestic market’s demand, is encouraging private imports of refined products as part of its deep energy reform.
The government of President Enrique Pena Nieto in February announced purchases would be authorized this year and the first permits were delivered in April. State-run company PEMEX had previously been in charge of all of Mexico’s oil imports.
“The first successful import of diesel was completed last week by a private group in Mexico,” Novum said in a news release.
Novum, which is focused on the Latin American and Caribbean oil market, did not disclose the name of the buyer in Mexico, but a company source said it was not a fuel retailer, as high taxes have been an obstacle preventing some station networks from making their own purchases.
Transportation of the diesel into Mexico was by road. The fuel was bought from a refinery in the United States and sent via pipeline to a location close to the border, added the source, who was not authorized to speak to the media.
The authorization Novum received from Mexico’s Secretary of Energy is valid for a year. (Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Terry Wade and Matthew Lewis)