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Mexico’s CRE Suspends Energy Reporting Requirements Following Quake

Mexican regulator Comision Reguladora de Energia (CRE) suspended reporting requirements for energy market participants for the rest of week, as a result of the earthquake that hit central Mexico on Tuesday afternoon.

CRE postponed all reporting requirements, deadlines and related formalities until Monday (Sept. 25), extending a previously announced suspension of these activities. The servers for the regulator’s electronic reporting system had gone offline during the quake, but appeared to be back in service by Thursday.

The National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) also suspended its administrative activities and inspections on Tuesday and Wednesday. As normal operations resumed Thursday, the commission held its 47th regular session, which was postponed on Tuesday when the earthquake struck.

CRE regulates the power market and midstream and downstream oil and gas sectors, including the transportation, storage and marketing of natural gas, while CNH oversees the exploration and production sector in Mexico.

The offices of the two regulators, as well as those of national oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and many other buildings in the capital city, were evacuated during the earthquake, which measured 7.1 on the Richter scale.

The quake also hit the power grid in the Valley of Mexico region and the states of Morelos, Puebla, Oaxaca, Guerrero and Tlaxcala. As of Wednesday night, state company CFE had reestablished electricity service for 95% of the 4.8 million clients who had lost power.

The affected homes and businesses amounted to 35% of CFE’s clients in the earthquake zone, it said. Most of the clients were concentrated in Mexico City, the State of Mexico and Morelos.

On Thursday afternoon, the power company said on Twitter that repair crews were still working in the Mexico City neighborhoods of Roma Norte, Roma Sur, Narvarte, Condesa, Portales and Colonia del Valle. It was also repairing the badly damaged Yautepec substation in Morelos state, near the epicenter of the quake.

None of CFE’s power plants were damaged and all were operating normally as of Wednesday, the company said.

No damage to Mexico’s natural gas infrastructure had been reported. On Wednesday, analysts at Genscape Inc. said border pipelines were operating on schedule, and the earthquake did not appear to have any impact so far on U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico.

Pemex also said on Tuesday its gasoline production, storage and distribution infrastructure was unaffected by the earthquake, and “guaranteed” gasoline and diesel supplies in the affected states.

The quake struck at 1:14 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, just hours after an earthquake drill. The epicenter was on the state border between Puebla and Morelos, about 120 kilometers (74.5 miles) from Mexico City, according to the National Seismological Service.

At least 44 buildings collapsed in Mexico City. The destruction was even more severe closer to the epicenter, particularly in the state of Puebla, according to reports. Rescue and recovery operations continued on Thursday, as searchers scrambled to locate survivors trapped in the rubble. At least 237 casualties had been reported as of Thursday.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said Wednesday 50 people had been rescued and at least 1,900 in Mexico City had received medical attention. The United State, Israel, Japan and other countries had sent disaster response teams to assist with rescue efforts.

Tuesday’s disaster occurred on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which killed nearly 10,000 people. It also came just two weeks after an 8.2-magnitude quake in southern Mexico claimed 100 lives.

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