Pemex to Flare 25% of Gas Output Due to Attacks
Mexican state oil company Pemex will flare up to 25% of national natural gas production following attacks this week by a leftist group on six areas of pipelines in Veracruz state, Pemex CEO Jesús Reyes Heroles said in an interview with W Radio.
Pemex will flare gas because it cannot transport the fuel by pipelines that were damaged in the attacks.
The pipeline attacks will bring about losses of "millions of dollars," Reyes Heroles said. The company produced 6.24Bf3/d (177Mm3/d) natural gas in July.
Although the attacks targeted pipelines transporting a variety of fuels, only natural gas supply will be affected due to storage inability.
Reestablishing service could require four or five days from the moment Pemex is able to begin works. The company could not start works immediately due to raging fires, but anticipated that works would begin Tuesday (Sep 11).
The 48-inch-diameter Cactus-San Fernando natural gas pipeline suffered two explosions and there was one each on the 48-inch Cempoala-Santa Ana and 30-inch Minatitlán-México pipelines.
Despite natural gas cuts, Pemex does not expect blackouts from state power company CFE. The power company is able to switch feedstock for thermoelectric plants and can count on hydroelectric reservoirs that are currently full.
However, the gas cuts have caused a variety of companies to shut down or reduce activities until supply resumes.
The cuts are affecting 11 states and more than 2,500 companies, particularly in the glass, food products, automobiles, metals and cement industries. Losses are estimated to total US$100mn/d, Mexico's manufacturing industry chamber Canacintra said in a statement.
Guerrilla group EPR claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it placed a total of 12 explosive charges on 12 pipelines. The bomb on the Nuevo Tepa-Cadereyta oil pipeline in La Antigua municipality was not activated, newspaper Universal reported, citing an EPR statement.
EPR also claimed responsibility for two pipeline attacks on July 5 and 10.
Pemex has more than 19,000 installations on land, and guarding all of them would be impossible, the CEO said.
The company classifies its installations based on vulnerability and strategic importance for the system, monitoring the most important assets.
Lawmaker Fernando Moctezuma (opposition PRI party) announced he would ask Reyes Heroles to provide information regarding areas susceptible to attacks, newspaper El Financiero reported.
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