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Mexico's Pemex to build most of Ramones II pipeline project

MEXICO CITY, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Mexico's state-run oil and gas monopoly Pemex will develop most of the second phase of Los Ramones, the country's largest natural gas pipeline project on its own, after failing to outsource it earlier this month, the company said on Friday.

Pemex, which had rejected the sole bid from a consortium in an auction, said in a statement it will split the remainder of the proposed pipeline in two.

One part will be developed alone by Pemex and the other by a joint venture between French energy firm GDF Suez and Pemex's TAG Pipelines unit.

The pipeline due to run from the U.S.-Mexico border to central Mexico is the country's biggest energy infrastructure investment in decades, and designed to help satisfy growing demand for gas by boosting cheap imports from the United States.

Once completed by the end of 2015, the entire 2.1 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day Ramones pipeline is scheduled to supply a fifth of Mexico's total natural gas demand.

Pemex said Ramones North, a 441 kilometer (274 mile) section extending from the town of Los Ramones in Nuevo Leon state to the city of San Luis Potosi, will be carried out in-house by two of its subsidiaries, TAG Pipelines and Gasoductos de Chihuahua.

Estimated investment for the section, which will include two gas compression stations, is $1.05 billion.

Meanwhile, Ramones South, a 287 kilometer (178 mile) section, will take the pipeline further into Mexico's industrial heartland, from San Luis Potosi to Guanajuato state, and include another compression station.

Pemex said on its Twitter page that the southern section will be developed jointly by GDF Suez and TAG Pipelines. It is expected to cost $795 million, Pemex said.

The company added that it is "analyzing various options to involve the participation of certain companies as partners" on Ramones South, but did not elaborate.

IEnova, a unit of U.S. energy company Sempra Energy, is already developing the first phase of the Ramones pipeline along with a Pemex subsidiary.

Once both phases are completed, the Ramones pipeline will extend 750 miles (1,200 km) from Agua Dulce, Texas, across the border and deep into central Mexico. Agua Dulce is located near the booming Eagle Ford shale gas deposit in southern Texas.

Mexico's current natural gas imports from the United States are tapped out at about 1.4 bcf per day.