Arizona Gov. Ducey Signs Cross-Border Agreement On Natural Gas

By Kendal Blust
Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - 6:24pm
Updated: Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 8:33am

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Arizona Gov. Ducey and Sonora Gov. Pavlovich
Kendal Blust/KJZZ
Arizona Governors Ducey and Pavlovich at the Arizona-Sonora Commission meeting in Hermosillo, Sonora on Nov. 30, 2018

The governors for Arizona, New Mexico and the state of Sonora, Mexico, signed an agreement Wednesday promoting the transport of natural gas to Asia.

The pact, signed in Phoenix by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and his counterparts Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Claudia Pavlovich of Sonora, promises to promote the production and transmission of natural gas produced in New Mexico.

The gas would be transported through Arizona and then shipped to Asia from Sonoran ports on the Sea of Cortez.

“This mainly was a big win for the region, in the sense that New Mexico has the gas, and the pipeline runs through Arizona. And then it goes into the middle coastal part of Sonora where it’s going to be liquefied and then shipped over as an export of Sonora into Asian countries,” said Juan Ciscomana, senior adviser to Gov. Ducey for regional and international affairs.

By collaborating, the three states are they’re taking advantage of growing demand for natural gas in Asia, he said.

However, while the natural gas is already available in New Mexico and the pipelines are already in place, facilities for storage and liquefaction still need to be built in Sonora before shipments could begin, he said.

“Now it’s on Sonora really for this facility to continue to be built. It’s already starting,” he said. “So hopefully we can see this be truly and finally materialized in the next three years.”

New Mexico’s natural gas is currently sent to Houston where it is shipped from the Gulf of Mexico and through the Panama Canal to Asia. The new route planned in this four-year cross-border pact would make shipments faster and more efficient.

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