Southwest governors strike natural gas deal with Mexican state

The governors of Arizona and New Mexico struck a deal Wednesday with the governor of Sonora, Mexico to export American natural gas from Mexican ports.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, both Republicans, signed the pact in Phoenix with Gov. Claudia Pavlovich of Sonora, the AP reports.

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Under the memorandum of understanding, the three states will join forces to export natural gas to Asia by way of Sonora's Gulf of California ports. The natural gas will be sent using existing pipelines to Sonoran ports, where it will be liquefied for export to Asia.

"Asia's burgeoning demand, New Mexico's abundant supply, and Arizona and Sonora's strategic location and transport networks all combine to present an opportunity for continued regional growth," reads the non-binding agreement.

By using Sonoran ports, Southwestern gas exports will avoid a much longer route that involves Gulf Coast ports and then shipping through the Panama Canal, AP reported.

Ducey won reelection in November and Pavlovich started a six-year term in 2015. 

Martinez did not run for reelection because of term limits and will be replaced by Rep. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamNew Mexico bans employers from asking about applicants' criminal history New Mexico bans employers from asking about applicants' criminal history Trump antagonizes both parties on trade MORE (D-N.M.) in January.