Hurricane Harvey’s crushing blow to the U.S. energy industry reveals just how dependent Mexico has become on natural gas from its northern neighbor.
The storm’s wrath forced cross-border gas pipelines in Texas to shut and prevented tankers from loading cargoes of the fuel. Mexican consumers, who are burning record amounts of gas from America’s prolific shale basins, had no choice but to cut back as imports dropped 16 percent in a single day after Harvey hit before recovering.
After ending its state-owned energy monopoly four years ago, Mexico has supplemented dwindling domestic gas production with shipments from the U.S. As the two nations’ gas markets become more intertwined, however, supply disruptions in the U.S. — whether from natural disasters or policy changes like President Donald Trump’s threats to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement — can send Mexico scrambling to find alternatives for American supply.
“Mexico has become