La Entrada al Pacifico’s goals have changed some since its 1997 inception with the 1,200-mile trade corridor now posing the lucrative prospect of natural gas exports.
Congress has not yet approved the sale of American natural gas from the wellhead to foreign buyers, but the compressed form of it might be exported as a refined product when a pipeline under construction from the border city of Ojinaga, Chihuahua, to the western Mexico seaport of Topolobampo is completed, says Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance President James Beauchamp.
Beauchamp added that the right of Permian Basin producers to export compressed natural gas might end up being contested in court, but he believes they would prevail.
He said the Mexican government has spent the equivalent of $64 million dredging Topolobampo from a depth of 35 to 42 feet and is loading ships from China and other countries with bulk shipments of grain, corn and other agricultural products, mostly from the heavily agricultural state of Sinaloa.
In 2012, Beauchamp said, a total of 570,671 vehicles, including 11,286 18-wheeler trucks, headed north from the border at Ojinaga-Presidio, where the bridge needs to be widened and where Mexican trucks usually off-load to American trucks. “From a trade and commerce standpoint, most of it is always going to be about Chihuahua and Texas,” he said.