Developer Seeks Permit to Send US Gas to Mexico for LNG Exports

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(Reuters, 21.May.2024) — A Mexican energy developer is seeking U.S. permission to export gas to Mexico, turn it into liquefied natural gas (LNG) and send it to countries with U.S. free-trade agreements, its filing with the U.S. Department of Energy showed.

Mexico-based Gato Negro Permitium Uno and partners including Houston-based Big River Energy plan to construct four LNG processing plants in Manzanillo on Mexico’s Pacific coast to produce up to 4 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG, the company said.

Gato Negro began the Mexican permitting process in June 2022, it said in the May 10 filing. Big River was granted authority by the DOE in late 2022 to export gas to Mexico for two years via pipeline.

The project is the latest in a series of developments to convert U.S. gas into LNG and export it from Mexico’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts to meet strong global demand for the superchilled gas.

Nine other onshore and floating LNG production facilities are planned in Mexico, mostly to process U.S. gas, promising to make the country one of the largest exporters of LNG in Latin America and the Caribbean. The first, an offshore project by New Fortress Energy, is already producing LNG.

Gato Negro is requesting authorization to supply 647 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d) of feed gas through TC Energy‘s Guadalajara-Manzanillo pipeline for 20 years. Operations would begin in September 2027, with LNG exports reaching 556 million cf/d.

Gato Negro has not yet entered into agreements to receive the U.S. gas nor sell the resulting LNG to final customers, the company’s application showed.

The company plans to sign one or more supply agreements with natural gas producers and marketers in the Permian Basin and potentially other producing areas in Texas.

“Maintaining this flexibility to acquire natural gas supplies from multiple producers on different terms will allow the applicant to access a diversity of natural gas supplies on favorable economic terms,” Gato Negro said in its application.

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Reporting by Curtis Williams and Marianna Parraga in Houston; Editing by Richard Chang

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