Mexico's Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has formed an alliance with Mercuria and JP Morgan to import U.S. gas into the country.

According to Pemex, the alliance is expected to be one of the top five participants in the North American natural gas market. It is to be created from JP Morgan's physical North American gas business, which is being acquired by Mercuria (see Daily GPI, March 19).

The goal of the venture is to secure long-term and reliable supplies of gas for Mexico at competitive prices, Pemex stated. It also is intended to strengthen Mexico's position in the North American gas markets and create a foundation on which Pemex can participate in other energy products and in other regions, the company said. The venture also is expected to support the transformation of Pemex in the context of energy industry reforms in Mexico (see Daily GPI, July 7).

Operations are expected to begin during the fourth quarter and would be coordinated with the launch of the Los Ramones pipeline project (see Daily GPI, Nov. 7, 2013).

Pipeline exports of U.S. gas to Mexico doubled from 2009 to 2013, and they're poised to double again from 2013 to 2018, driven by growing demand from Mexican industry and power generators and growing supply in the United States, according to Mexico's Secretaria de Energia (SENER) (see Daily GPI, May 29). Pipeline exports of gas to Mexico could reach 3.8 Bcf/d in 2018, more than double the 2013 level of 1.8 Bcf/d, SENER said. Power sector demand in northern Mexico and the interior is driving the demand, but growth is occurring in the southeastern portion of the country as well.