Exports of U.S. natural gas to Mexico by pipeline and truck totaled 536.9 Bcf in the third quarter of 2022, averaging about 5.9 Bcf/d, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This was down from 570.7 Bcf or 6.27 Bcf/d during 3Q2021.

DOE publishes a quarterly report on U.S. natural gas imports and exports.

Natural gas exports to Mexico fetched an average price of $7.65/MMBtu in 3Q2022, up from $4.35 in the year-earlier period, DOE said in the latest report published on Feb. 1.

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The top two exit points by volume for natural gas exports to Mexico, both in South Texas, were Rio Grande City and Brownsville at 129 Bcf and 87.9 Bcf, respectively. Next came the West Texas border towns of Presidio (59 Bcf) and San Elizario (49.8 Bcf), followed by Ogilby, CA (38.1 Bcf), and Roma, TX (30.1 Bcf).

Rio Grande City, Brownsville and Presidio combined to account for 51.4% of pipeline exports to Mexico.

Brownsville is the starting point of TC Energy Corp. and Sempra’s 2.6 Bcf/d Sur de Texas Tuxpan offshore pipeline, which transports gas from South Texas to the Port of Tuxpan in Mexico’s Veracruz state.

Among the top four exit points, San Elizario saw the biggest year/year jump in volumes, which rose by 20.6 Bcf or 70%. 

San Elizario is the endpoint of Energy Transfer LP’s 1.1 Bcf/d Comanche Trail intrastate pipeline and Oneok Inc.’s 640 MMcf/d Roadrunner pipeline, both of which transport gas from the Waha hub in the Permian Basin to the Mexico border under agreements with Mexico’s state power utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE).

CFE is a major importer, marketer and consumer of natural gas in Mexico.

Its U.S. affiliate, CFE International LLC, exported 3.23 Bcf/d from the United States to Mexico under short-term authorizations during the third quarter of 2022, up from 2.94 Bcf/d in 3Q2021, the DOE report said. 

Mexico’s Pemex Transformación Industrial, a division of state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), exported about 474 MMcf/d from the United States to Mexico under short-term authorizations, down from 952 MMcf/d a year earlier. 

As for LNG, the Lower 48 exported 297 cargoes totaling 895.7 Bcf during the third quarter, averaging out to about 9.84 Bcf/d. This compares to 882.8 Bcf or 9.7 Bcf/d in the third quarter of 2021.

France was the leading destination of liquefied natural gas exports in 3Q2022 at 1.6 Bcf/d. Next came the Netherlands (1.27 Bcf/d), South Korea (990 MMcf/d), Spain (899 MMcf/d) and the UK (840 MMcf/d).

Those five countries, four of which are located in Europe, accounted for 48.3% of total U.S. LNG exports during the period

In 3Q2021, by comparison, the top five destination countries for U.S. LNG exports were China, South Korea, Brazil, Spain and India.

Prices of seaborne LNG exports ranged from as low as $10.66/MMBtu to Singapore, to as high as $21.94/MMBtu to Poland, DOE said. 

U.S. natural gas imports totaled 752.9 Bcf (8.27 Bcf/d), while exports totaled 1,637.2 Bcf (18 Bcf/d), resulting in net exports of 884.3 Bcf (9.72 Bcf/d).

Essentially all pipeline imports came from Canada, with a negligible amount (0.1%) coming from Mexico.

The average price of natural gas imported from Canada was $6.03/MMBtu.

U.S. gas exports by pipeline totaled 741 Bcf during the quarter, with 72.4% of them going to Mexico and 27.6% to Canada. Pipeline exports to Canada averaged 2.25 Bcf/d. 

Exports via pipeline and truck to Canada fetched an average price of $7.56/MMBtu, DOE said.