April 18 U.S. natural gas pipeline exports to
Mexico fell to their lowest level since June 2015 due to
maintenance on the NET Mexico pipe in Texas, while the first
tankers from the United States started delivering liquefied
natural gas to Mexico's Gulf Coast.
A unit of Mexico's state-owned petroleum company, Petroleos
Mexicanos (Pemex), started importing LNG from Cheniere Energy
Inc's Sabine Pass export terminal in Louisiana to
Mexico's Altamira import terminal on the Gulf of Mexico earlier
"Pemex started importing gas through Altamira due to
maintenance on NET Mexico," Pemex spokeswoman Erika Contreras
Licea told Reuters, noting the company scheduled the work to
start during Holy Week (April 9-15) when demand is lower. She
said the work was expected to last about a week or so.
Exports fell to around 2.4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd)
over the past three days, the lowest level since June 2015. That
compares with an average of 3.8 bcfd during the 30 days prior to
the reductions, according to Reuters data.
"Deliveries from Tennessee and NGPL into NET Mexico fell to
zero over the back half of the weekend," said Luke Larsen, vice
president for markets at energy data provider PointLogic Energy,
noting that the flows started to decline after April 9.
Tennessee and Natural Gas Pipeline Co of America (NGPL) are
both owned by Houston-based energy company Kinder Morgan Inc
So far, the Creole Spirit LNG tanker, with a capacity to
hold about 3.6 billion cubic feet of gas, and the Magellan
Spirit, with a capacity of around 3.3 bcf, delivered cargoes
from Sabine to Altamira on April 4 and April 14, respectively.
The Methane Nile Eagle, meanwhile, is sitting off the coast
of Altamira with about 2.9 bcf of gas from Sabine.
Both the Creole Spirit and Magellan Spirit were heading for
the Panama Canal before turning north toward Altamira.
The LNG sellers would likely be the companies that chartered
the ships, including units of Cheniere (Creole Spirit) and Royal
Dutch Shell Plc (Methane Nile Eagle), according to Ted
Michael, LNG analyst at Genscape.
The 2.1-bcfd NET Mexico pipeline from Texas to Mexico is
owned by NET Midstream, a unit of NextEra Energy Partners (NEP)
. NEP is part of NextEra Energy Inc.
The pipeline is anchored by a long term agreement with a
unit of Pemex Gas y Petroquimica Basica, Mexico's state gas
company, which is a unit of Pemex.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Paul Simao)