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Maintenance to Shutter 200 MMcf/d of Mexican Exports For Week, Genscape Says

About 200 MMcf/d of natural gas exports to Mexico could be interrupted starting Thursday because of a planned shutdown at North Baja Pipeline LLC’s import/export point at Ogilby, CA, natural gas analytics firm Genscape Inc. said Wednesday.

Genscape noted that North Baja in July first announced the outage in a force majeure notice.

North Baja said it would be shutting down all Ogilby receipts and deliveries starting Thursday to replace segments of its pipeline downstream of the Ehrenberg Compressor Station. The maintenance work, necessitated “due to previous washouts of certain segments,” will continue through Dec. 17, the operator said.

Genscape said Ogilby flows have averaged 274 MMcf/d over the last 30 days, with recent volumes coming in around 200 MMcf/d after a recent high of 282 MMcf/d on Dec. 1.

Prices at El Paso South Mainline/North Baja were up 18 cents to $3.80/MMBtu for Wednesday deliveries, according to Daily GPI price data. By mid-day Wednesday the average price had fallen 6 cents, consistent with declines across numerous Rockies and West Coast trading points, according to NGI’s Mid-Day Price Alert.

“There may be re-routing options available to offset the lost volumes, including Costa Azul LNG, other pipes in Mexico and interconnects with San Diego Gas & Electric,” according to Genscape.

Genscape data shows total exports to Mexico hovering around 1.8-1.9 Bcf/d over the last five days. Spurred by declines in Mexico’s domestic production and its shift toward more gas-fired electric generation, the United States is expected to continue growing pipeline exports to its southern neighbor over the next few years as new infrastructure projects come online.

To get a better picture of the developing natural gas market in Mexico, including operational and in-process projects, as well as where the U.S./Mexico import and export points are, check out NGI’s 2017 Map of Emerging Mexico Natural Gas Pipeline Infrastructure.

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