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Story by San Antonio Business Journal

Two new automotive plants being built south of the border are being regarded as good news for natural gas producers in the Eagle Ford shale.

A Toyota-to-build-new-plants-in-China-Mexico”>report from the Nikkei Asian Review revealed that Toyota is building an automotive plant in Guanajuato in 2019 that is expected to produce 200,000 Toyota Corollas per year.

Similarly, Kia Motors Corp. is building an automotive manufacturing plant in Monterrey. Both automotive plants are expected to use natural gas as a primary fuel source, but Mexico does not produce enough of it to meet domestic demand.

Nelson Balido with the San Antonio-based Energy Council of the Americas said there are a number of cross-border natural gas pipeline projects in the works.

Once completed, the multi-million dollar Los Ramones pipeline is expected to take natural gas from the Agua Dulce hub of the Eagle Ford Shale to Guanajuato. Meanwhile, the Colombia-Escobedo pipeline is expected to take natural gas from Laredo to the Monterrey area.

Although Mexico recently passed historic energy reforms, Balido said it may take up to eight to 10 years before the country can become self-sufficient.

“Mexico can’t keep up,” Balido said. “More and more plants keep coming online.”

In the meantime, Balido said Mexico will need to import cheap natural gas from the Eagle Ford and the Permian Basin.