Last year, new laws in Mexico have made it easier for foreign companies to export gas to Mexico. There’s been more than $10 billion of planned or completed pipeline investments announced by companies such as Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP. Juno Beach, the Florida-based NextEra Energy Partners LP agreed to a $2.1 billion acquisition of closely-held NET Midstream, owner of seven pipelines including a 120-mile stretch that runs from Texas to the Mexican border.
It’s the surge in gas-pipeline construction that’s attracting foreign capital, expanding the market for US gas producers and meeting growing demand from Mexican manufacturers and power plants.
The pipeline construction “is similar to building a first-class highway system,” Glenn Pinkerton, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP who has worked on Latin American energy financing and infrastructure projects, said in an interview.
Just last week, Infraestructura Energetica Nova, a unit of San Diego-based Sempra Energy known as Ienova, agreed to pay $1.325 billion for a 50 percent stake in Gasoductos de Chihuahua, which operates a 73-mile pipeline between the northern states of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas.
Kinder Morgan Inc., the largest U.S. pipeline operator, is doubling the size of its U.S.-Mexico pipeline, while Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Oneok Partners LP said it would spend as much as $100 million on an expansion to Mexico.