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Infraestructura Energética Nova (IEnova), Sempra Energy's Mexico subsidiary, said recently the 2.6 Bcf/d Sur de Texas-Tuxpan marine pipeline should be online "in a few weeks," in time for the Mexican summer when natural gas demand traditionally peaks.

"We're in preconditioning and commissioning," CEO Tania Ortiz said during a call to discuss quarterly results. "We should be calling for gas in the next couple of weeks to do our testing and line-packing. So, we are in the final few weeks of finishing the project."

The $2.1 billion underwater pipe, a joint venture with TransCanada Corp., stretches nearly 500 miles through the Gulf of Mexico from the tip of Texas in Brownsville to the Tuxpan port in Veracruz state. It has been delayed for several months by bad weather, with offshore tie-ins still pending, IEnova said.

When the delayed pipe is running it can count on a 500 MMcf/d interconnection to the main Sistrangas network, meaning immediate market access to receive imported U.S. gas. The Cempoala compressor station has also completed the initial phase of its reconfiguration, allowing for U.S. gas to reach gas-deprived Southeast Mexico.

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