Regulación / NGI Mexico GPI

Texas, Mexico Officials Meet With Oil/NatGas Industry on Cross-Border Trade

In a pair of meetings held in recent days officials from Texas, Mexico and representatives of several energy companies discussed oil and natural gas trade across the international border.

In Austin last Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott hosted a dinner with Mexico’s U.S. Ambassador Geronimo Gutierrez-Fernandez, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) CEO Jose Antonio Gonzalez-Anaya and executives from Texas-based energy companies Energy Transfer Partners LP, Howard Midstream Energy Partners, Hunt Oil Co., NuStar Energy, Parsley Energy Inc. and Valero Energy Corp.

Conversation at the dinner, which was held at the governor's mansion, centered on cross-border energy trading and creating a "Texas-Mexico energy nexus," Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos, who was also at the meeting, told the San Antonio Business Journal.

On Tuesday, Pablos convened the second meeting this year of the Texas Border Trade Advisory Committee (BTAC) in Austin. The focus of that meeting was cross-border energy collaboration,  a spokesman for Pablos told NGI.

At the meeting were Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton, Hunt Mexico President Enrique Marroquin, and Regina García-Cuéllar, chief of staff to the director general of Pemex. Also in attendance were representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation, the Port of Brownsville, the Presidio International Port Authority, and the Port-to-Plains Alliance.

"We have an incredible opportunity in Texas to provide Mexico with much needed energy resources while stimulating our own economy," Sitton said. "Right now, Mexico imports about 112,000 MMcf of natural gas each month from Texas via pipeline. By 2019, U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico will double, and that means more money for our schools, roads, hospitals and economy. Mexico's energy reforms and demand coupled with near historic highs in U.S. production are creating an enormous opportunity from which both countries will benefit."

At the first BTAC meeting in May held in San Antonio, the panel focused on Texas' objectives in facilitating cross-border trade and commerce. BTAC serves as a forum for agency transportation decisions affecting trade and the movement of freight at the Texas border.

Two years ago Abbott signed a transportation agreement between the Texas Department of Transportation and the Ministry of Communications and Transportation of the United Mexican States to promote collaboration on border infrastructure projects.

Mexico is the Lone Star State's biggest trading partner and Texas exports more goods to Mexico than any other state, according to Abbott's office.

The total capacity of all U.S.-Mexico natural gas pipelines grew to 7.8 Bcf/d in 2016, compared with 3.7 Bcf/d in 2011, and is expected to double by 2019, according to the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) of Dallas. Natural gas exports to Mexico increased to 3.8 Bcf/d in 2016 from 1.4 Bcf/d in 2011, reflecting the growing pipeline capacity.

More than 1 Bcf/d of U.S. gas exports moved through Rio Grande City, TX, where the NET Mexico pipeline connects with Mexico's Los Ramones project, FRB said.

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