The United States exported record-high volumes of natural gas via pipelines to Mexico in June 2023, beating the previous record from June 2021, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday.
America’s pipeline gas exports to Mexico averaged a record high of 6.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) for June 2023, per data from Wood Mackenzie cited by the EIA. This was 0.1 Bcf/d higher than the previous record set in June 2021, due to increased demand in Mexico’s power sector.
On nine days in June 2023, U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico exceeded the 7.0 Bcf/d mark, as America’s pipeline gas exports to its southern neighbor usually peak in the summer because of higher demand for air conditioning when summer temperatures rise.
In the first half of 2023, U.S. natural gas pipeline exports to Mexico averaged 5.9 Bcf/d, close to the record-high six-month average of 6.0 Bcf/d in the first half of 2021. Following a decline last year, U.S. natural gas pipeline exports to Mexico have returned to the highs of 2021, the EIA noted.
Last year, Mexico ramped up its domestic natural gas production by 14%, but so far in 2023, the country hasn’t boosted domestic output while its gas demand continued to increase.
So, to make up the difference, Mexico’s natural gas pipeline imports from the United States rose by 3%, or by 0.2 Bcf/d, the EIA said.
U.S. gas exports to Mexico have grown over the past three years as several new cross-border pipelines have entered into operation, including the Wahalajara system from the Waha hub in West Texas to Guadalajara, the expanded Mier-Monterrey pipeline, and the Tula–Villa de Reyes pipeline.
The Tuxpan–Tula pipeline (0.9 Bcf/d) is expected to begin full service in 2025, while this year, the Cuxtal Phase II pipeline—the second segment of the Energía Mayakan pipeline—is expected to enter service.
The U.S. also saw deliveries of natural gas via pipelines to liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities hit a record high in the first half of 2023.
By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com
Tom majored in International Business at Amsterdam’s Higher School of Economics, he is Oilprice.com's Head of Operations