Enbridge puts Tex-Mex Valley Crossing natgas pipe into service

(Reuters) - Enbridge Inc ENB.TO said on Friday its $1.6 billion Valley Crossing natural gas pipeline from Texas to Mexico entered service on Oct. 31.

The 165-mile (266-km) Valley Crossing project is designed to carry up to 2.6 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of gas from Texas to help Mexico meet growing demand for power generation as utilities there shift away from plants powered by fuel oil and imported liquefied natural gas.

One billion cubic feet is enough to fuel about five million U.S. homes for a day.

Valley Crossing connects in the Gulf of Mexico with the Sur de Texas-Tuxpan pipeline, which runs roughly 500 miles in Mexico. It is the biggest gas pipe between the two countries.

Sur de Texas-Tuxpan was built by Infraestructura Marina del Golfo, S. de R.L. de CV (Marina). Marina is a joint venture between TransCanada Corp TRP.TO and Sempra Energy's SRE.N IEnova unit.

Valley Crossing has been under construction since April 2017, according to the Enbridge website.

There are already about 20 pipelines that can move natural gas from the United States to Mexico with a total capacity of around 10.9 bcfd, according to U.S. energy data.

Energy analysts have said, however, that constraints on the Mexican side of the border have so far limited a big increase in U.S. pipeline exports to Mexico.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by James Dalgleish