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Mexico projects rapid near term growth in US natural gas imports

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), a combination of higher natural gas demand from Mexico’s industrial and electric power sectors and increased US natural gas production has resulted in a doubling of US pipeline exports of natural gas to Mexico between 2009 and 2013.

Mexico’s national energy ministry (SENER), projects that US pipeline exports to Mexico will reach 3.8 billion ft3/d in 2018. This would amount to more than double US pipeline exports to Mexico in 2013.

Projected growth has been driven primarily by increased demand from the Mexican power sector in both the north and interior of the country.

Locus of growth

Approximately three quarters of projected growth in Mexico’s natural gas consumption between 2012 and 2027 is projected to occur in the electric power sector. This growth is largely driven by private and independently operated power plants, whose natural gas consumption is anticipated to rise at an average annual rate of 7.9%. This is equivalent to an increase from 1.6 billion ft3/d to 4.9 billion ft3/d in 2027.

In contrast, natural gas consumption from plants operated by national energy company CFE grows at 0.4%/y, from 1.1 billion ft3/d in 2012 to 1.2 billion ft3/d in 2027. Growth will sharply accelerate over the near term but continues through 2027, when power sector consumption reaches 58% of total gas consumption, compared to 47% in 2012.

Growth in gas consumption occurs in each of the countries key market regions: Northeast, Northwest, Interior-West, Interior, and South-Southeast. However, according to SENER, demand growth is particularly strong in the northern and interior regions of the country.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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