MEXICO CITY, July 19 (Reuters) - U.S. refiner Tesoro Corp could begin transporting gasoline and diesel through the pipeline network owned by Mexico's national oil company Pemex in September, an executive with the Mexican firm said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Tesoro signed three-year contracts with Pemex to use surplus capacity on Pemex pipelines and storage facilities in the northern border states of Baja California and Sonora, capacity won by the U.S. refiner at auction in May.
"Tesoro has to notify Pemex at least 30 days before the arrival of its first cargo, and so this implies that by the beginning of September we would expect to receive the first cargo," said Ignacio Aguilar, director of Pemex Logistics.
Tesoro did not respond to a request for comment on the start of its fuel transportation operations in Mexico.
Last year, Mexico's government allowed for first-ever imports of gasoline and diesel by private companies, an activity that had been the exclusive domain of Pemex until a sweeping energy overhaul finalized in 2014 launched a gradual opening.
The opening for non-Pemex fuel importers in Mexico is happening in tandem with a region-by-region liberalization of fuel prices, previously fixed by the government.
Aguilar added that in the coming weeks Pemex expects to finalize the schedule for the second so-called open season auction for the use of excess fuel pipeline and storage capacity among remaining northern border states. (Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; Editing by Sandra Maler)