Growing demand for natural gas by Mexican electric power generators and declining domestic production have boosted the country's imports of U.S. natural gas to a 10-year high to date in 2011, Barclays said in a report released June 22.
Barclays analysts said Mexican imports of U.S. gas are on pace to average 1.3 Bcf/d this year. Imports could rise to 1.5 Bcf/d in 2012. Natural gas use in power generation in Mexico has increased 257 percent between 1999 and 2009, Platts reported, quoting the report.
The country’s Federal Electricity Commission is reportedly calling for even more gas-fired power plants. Barclays said 19,000 MW of gas-fired capacity could be brought online by 2024, translating into an additional 3.8 Bcf/d of demand.
Mexican producers have been unable to keep up with demand, so the country has been importing gas, either by pipeline or through liquid natural gas shipped in, the article said. Mexico has reserves of shale gas, which the Energy Information Administration estimates at 681 Tcf. However, development of shale gas is at an early stage and uncertainty exists over when and how much gas will be produced.
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