US natural gas exports into Mexico to continue growth

Natural gas imports into Mexico from the US—its largest supplier—increased 24% to 1.69 bcfd in 2012, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration cited by law firm Mayer Brown in a legal update on US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission permitting of NET Mexico Pipeline Partners LLC’s cross-border gas export project.

FERC issued a Presidential Permit and Granting Authorization Nov. 8 (under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act) allowing NET Mexico, a subsidiary of NET Midstream, Houston, to build a 2.1-bcfd gas export site at the US-Mexico border.

According to the FERC order, the export hub will be supplied by a 120-mile, 42-in OD intrastate pipeline NET Mexico is planning to build from the Agua Dulce Hub in Nueces County, Tex. Exports would enter Mexico’s Los Ramones Pipeline, which has yet to be built (OGJ Online, May 21, 2013).

The FERC order adds that the export facility was “necessary to meet the expanding fuel demand for power generation and industrial activity in Mexico” and to promote North American trade. Gas flows from US pipelines accounted for about 80% of Mexico’s overall gas imports in 2012.

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