13 July 2000

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), a San Antonio, TX, based research and development organization, has produced a comprehensive report on the quality of Mexico’s gasoline and diesel fuels.

The survey was conducted in response to an industry request. In March and April 1999 the Institute collected 181 gasoline samples of both regular and premium, the two grades available in Mexico, plus 91 diesel samples from 16 cities. SwRI worked with Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), the national oil company of Mexico, to ensure that the refineries and various areas of distribution were represented.

“Some people carry assumptions about the quality of Mexico’s fuel,” said Gerry Estrada, assistant director of the SwRI Petroleum Products Research Department. “We found that their fuel is not any better or worse than US fuels. The fuel met their specifications for production about 98 to 99% of the time. Mexico has established strict sulfur requirements because sulfur is a big pollutant that they are trying to remove from fuels. Our studies found they were actually maintaining a low level of sulfur throughout the country.”

Interest in a Mexico fuel quality report stemmed from several major automotive manufacturers who produce cars in Mexico for sale in the US, South America and Mexico. Estrada said automobiles manufactured in Mexico contain some local fuel when they roll off the assembly line, and manufacturers wanted to ensure that the fuel meets their specifications. Others who may benefit from this report include manufacturers of automotive parts and additives as well as regulatory agencies on both sides of the US/Mexico border because of the high amount of trade and traffic between Mexico and the United States.

The Mexico Fuel Quality Report is available for $3,750. Contact Estrada at 210/522-3006 or e-mail gestrada@swri.org.

Source: SwRI