US energy exports to Mexico are growing rapidly

Washington Examiner:
The untapped market for U.S. crude oil and natural gas isn't across the sea in Asia or Europe, but just across the border in Mexico.

More than 50 percent of Mexico's energy imports now comes from the U.S. as Mexico's national oil and gas company, Pemex, struggles to reinvest in its own production, according to a new report due out this week from S&P Global Platts that underscores the large stake Mexico has in buying fossil fuels from the United States.

The country also has to move forward with a plan that began two years ago to restructure its energy markets and make them more competitive by attracting more participants from the U.S. and other countries.

President Trump often touts America's rapid growth as an oil and gas producer and exporter. The White House last week issued a statement touting new Energy Department data that showed the U.S. is on target to become a net natural gas exporter this year, meaning it will ship more of the fuel abroad than it imports. Mexico will play a role in that.

"Pipeline imports of U.S. natural gas make up nearly 60 percent of total Mexican natural gas supply, compared to just 22 percent in 2010," according to the report's executive summary reviewed ahead of publication by the Washington Examiner. And that trend isn't about to change any time soon. "Platts Analytics expects that U.S. natural gas imports will rise to nearly 70 percent of total supply by 2022."

To meet the demand for natural gas from the U.S., Mexican pipeline import capacity has risen by 145 percent in the last seven years, according to the report. Mexican officials in the U.S. recently pointed out that the increase in natural gas use is driven partly by environmental targets that demand it switch to cleaner-burning natural gas to meet its electricity demand.
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There is more.

 This is a remarkable turn around for US energy producers who used to import Mexican crude.  It also demonstrates that NAFTA is not a one-way street.  Mexico's own production is hampered by the criminal insurgency which makes it impossible to exploit its own shale oil and gas reserves across the border from Texas.  It is too unsafe for foreign producers to operate in that area and even if they avoided kidnapping and extortion they would have to deal with the theft of the energy that was produced.  It is one of the problems that plague Mexico's state owned oil company, Pemex.

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