Mexico natural gas shortages resolved - energy minister

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The shortage of natural gas in Mexico has been resolved by new LNG imports, according to energy minister Pedro Joaquín Coldwell.

"It pleases me to inform all of you that for the eighth consecutive week, there have been no critical alerts announced as a result of the [natural gas] strategy," Coldwell said.

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From December 2012 to July 2013, national oil company Pemex's gas subsidiary PGPB announced 15 critical alerts for natural gas shortages that forced customers to reduce consumption, in addition to dozens more early in 2012.

The critical alerts forced a combined average reduction in consumption of 462Mf3/d (13.1Mm3/d), according to Coldwell.

But since July 23, Mexico has boasted a secure and efficient gas supply at competitive prices, Coldwell said.

The new natural gas, which will add an average 400Mf3/d to national supply, is arriving via new LNG deliveries at the Manzanillo and Altamira terminals in 29 different shipments through the end of 2014. The shipments were tendered by national utility CFE and PGPB in May.

FUTURE NATURAL GAS PLANS

The next step for natural gas supply is to increase internal production. Coldwell said Pemex will invest 30bn pesos (US$2.36bn) in gas production in 2014 to add at least 772Mf3/d to current levels of 6.25Bf3/d.

Transportation capacity will also be expanded massively by 2016 with the northwest pipeline system, phase I and phase II of the Los Ramones pipeline system, and three compression station (Soto La Marina, Altamira and Los Ramones-Indios).

A shale gas exploration campaign launched in March by Coldwell's ministry Sener hopes to identify strategic plays for Mexico and speed development of the untapped resources.

And President Peña Nieto's energy reform proposal will help guarantee supply through more investment and higher domestic gas production, Coldwell added.