Mercados / NGI Mexico GPI

Cenagas Lifts NatGas State of Alert as Harvey’s Impact on Imports Wanes

Cenagas, the Mexican natural gas control center, on Wednesday lifted a state of alert imposed on the Sistrangas natural gas storage and transportation system imposed by Harvey’s impact on U.S. imports.

During the height of the storm, Cenagas had asked end-users -- mostly large industrial -- to cut down on their natural gas consumption to protect against shortages, but as of Friday, Sistrangas was operating under normal operational conditions, Cenagas reported.

Since Aug. 25, as Harvey approached the Texas coast with hurricane force, ”all those involved in the natural gas imports supply chain have made efforts to maintain the continuity of commercial activities in so long as is possible,” Cenagas said, adding “it was important to avoid unnecessary restrictions.”

“All the Sistrangas operational infrastructure is now operating normally,” Cengas spokeswoman Alma Martinez told NGI on Thursday.

Cenagas noted that Harvey’s impact on the Texas energy industry had caused severe damage. The flow of imports from Texas is not free of risks, but the most severe stage of the crisis appears to have passed, it added.

Earlier in the week, Genscape Inc.’s Rick Margolin, senior analyst told NGI that U.S. pipeline exports to Mexico had taken about a 1 Bcf/d hit from Harvey, down from 4.4-4.5 Bcf/d before the storm lashed South Texas.

The importance of the imports from the United States was highlighted Thursday by Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH). Imports are now exceeding Mexico’s domestic production of natural gas, and at a very rapid rate, CNH said.

In June, dry natural gas production in Mexico stood at 3.164 Bcf/d, while imports were 5.027 Bcf/d, a difference of 1.865 Bcf/d. But in June 2016, the difference amounted to only 709 MMcf/d.

The gap between Mexico’s domestic natural gas production and its imports has grown by 162%, CNH said.

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