(Adds Energy Transfer comment)
March 20 U.S. energy regulators on Thursday approved a plan by a unit of Energy Transfers Partners LP to build a natural gas pipeline from Texas to Mexico.
The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a presidential permit to Energy Transfer's Houston Pipe Line Co that will allow the company to build the pipeline across the federal border.
It is one of several projects proposed by energy companies in the United States to export some of the nation's gas supplies from shale fields to Mexico and other nations.
Energy Transfer spokeswoman Vicki Granado said the company expects the project to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2014. She said the company has not disclosed the cost of the project.
In the order, FERC said Houston Pipe Line filed in October 2013 to build and operate the pipeline to export or import gas at the international boundary between Hidalgo County in Texas and the city of Reynosa in Tamaulipas state in Mexico.
Houston Pipe Line wants to build a 23-mile (37-km) extension of its existing Edinburg Lateral that will cross the border under the Rio Grande River and will have a 24-inch (61-centimeter) diameter, according to the order.
The pipeline will have a design capacity of approximately 140 million cubic feet per day, according to the order.
The pipeline will connect into the Pemex Pipeline system on the Mexican side of the border and will primarily supply mostly Texas-sourced gas to fuel gas-fired power plants and potential industrial customers in northern Mexico, according to the order.
Houston Pipe Line owns and operates an intrastate gas pipeline system, including over 3,900 miles (6,276 km) of pipeline in Texas. The company gathers, transports, stores, purchases, and sells gas produced in Texas. It also participates in some interstate transactions. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Paul Simao)