FERC has approved two orders that allow the El Paso Natural Gas and Kinder Morgan Texas pipeline systems to increase natural gas exports to northern Mexico.

The El Paso order clears the way for the pipeline to increase the export capacity of its Samalayuca Crossing facilities in El Paso, TX, to 544.5 MMcf/d from 308 MMcf/d. It said the expansion would not require the construction of additional facilities.

MGI Supply Ltd. asked El Paso, the pipeline subsidiary of El Paso Corp., to increase it gas export capacity at its border-crossing facilities to meet increased gas demand in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, according to the order [CP12-74].

In a separate order, the Commission approved a request of Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline to raise the authorized design capacity of its crossing facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border to 425 MMcf/d from 375 MMcf/d. Like El Paso, Kinder Morgan said the additional capacity would not require the construction of facilities [CP12-440].

The cross-border facilities connect with Kinder Morgan Gas Natural de Mexico S de R.L. de C.V. (Kinder Morgan Mexico), an affiliate of Kinder Morgan Texas that transports gas from the international border to the Monterey, Mexico area. Pemex-Gas Y Petroquimica Basica (Pemex), the shipper-customer of Kinder Morgan Mexico, purchases gas at the U.S.-Mexico border from MGI Supply, an affiliate of Pemex, and uses the gas to serve customers in Monterey and to support its system throughout northeastern Mexico.

Kinder Morgan Texas said that since April it has been transporting up to 425 MMcf/d through the cross-border facilities under Part 284 of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulations, which allow pipelines to transport volumes in excess of authorized capacity in emergency situations. Kinder Morgan said it has been providing emergency service to help Pemex offset the effects of a rupture that occurred in November 2011 on a 36-inch diameter pipeline in the Reynosa-Monterey path in Mexico.

Kinder Morgan Texas contends that the rupture has severely affected the transportation capacity of the national pipeline system in Mexico in recent months, and that by increasing the flow of gas through its cross-border facilities, it has been able to help Pemex supply its Gulf, Center and West zones, stabilizing the natural gas supply conditions previously affected by the damaged pipeline.

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