Mexico proposes exporting gas to Asia to resolve pipeline conflicts

The Mexican government on Monday raised the possibility of exporting natural gas to Asia to resolve the conflicts over pipelines that were to supply thermoelectric plants of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) that did not materialize.

Mexico proposes exporting gas to Asia. Photo: Wikimedia
Mexico proposes exporting gas to Asia. Photo: Wikimedia

"In any case, we have to resolve what to do with the gas, and we do not rule out the possibility of bidding with companies to treat the gas, freeze it and sell it in Asia," said Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in his morning press conference.

The gas pipelines have again caused controversy in Mexico since last week, when the president promised the Yaquis, a people originating from the state of Sonora, in the northwest of the country, to relocate a gas pipeline authorized by previous administrations, despite breaking into their territory.

In addition, last year the government filed international arbitration claims to annul clauses in contracts with foreign companies involving the South Texas-Tuxpan pipeline.

Lopez Obrador said on Monday that previous administrations handed over contracts because "supposedly" they were going to build about 20 CFE thermoelectric plants supplied with gas from the United States, but they were never put out to tender.

"The contracts were signed to build the pipelines and buy the gas, most irregular planning that could have, imagine, the plants are not built, but the gas is bought and the question is, what do we do with the gas," he said.

Arguing that it is necessary to "give an outlet to the gas," the president acknowledged that the government will assume the cost of relocating the Yaqui pipeline, although he insisted that it is "more expensive" not to solve the problem.

He also revealed that he is analyzing putting a gas plant in Salina Cruz, in the southern state of Oaxaca, to sell the fuel to Asia and even Central America.

The leftist leader framed these actions within his strategy to strengthen CFE and Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the state-run companies.

"The business was in the construction of the gas pipelines and in the purchase of the gas, good business for the private companies, bad business for the public treasury, of those things that were carried out because the government was looted," he denounced.

By Mexicanist