New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez Thursday declared a state of emergency due to natural gas service outages across the state, ordering all nonessential personnel to stay home. Temperatures in Albuquerque Thursday night were forecast to go as low as 9 degrees.

"Disruptions in gas service have been reported statewide," the governor said. "Please limit gas usage to preserve service across the state. Turn your thermostat down, dress in layers and, if possible, use alternate sources of heat."

Widespread outages of natural gas service were reported throughout Albuquerque, Bernalillo and Otero County, with estimates from New Mexico Gas Co. that up to 20,000 customers in Albuquerque were without gas Thursday morning.

"Due to rolling blackouts in West Texas and other problems, the delivery of natural gas into New Mexico has been impeded," New Mexico Gas Co. said. "States across the Southwest are experiencing similar situations. Our pipeline system is intact and our crews are working to minimize the impact of this temporary situation."

The controls on compressors that push the gas through pipelines and distribution systems generally are run on electricity.

New Mexico Gas Co. did not respond to NGI's request for comment. "I'm swamped at the moment with the same situation you're inquiring about," said a spokesman for New Mexico's Public Regulation Commission, in response to an inquiry from NGI.

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