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By MARK LORENZANA

Mexico’s Secretary of Energy Rocío Nahle on Monday, June 13, sent an official letter to the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) and the National Gas Control Center (Cenagas), instructing them to modify regulations and transport contracts for natural gas, which would favor Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and state oil giant Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

This direct order from the head of Mexico’s Energy Secretariat (Sener) will force consumers using natural gas — mostly large corporations — to buy their supply exclusively from the CFE or Pemex.

Sener intends to supply consumers with CFE’s natural gas reserves through its pipelines in the United States and Mexico, which the agency is paying for, but are currently not being used, the letter states.

Mexico is able to import 8.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day, but the country is only using 41 percent of that amount. The CFE, meanwhile, has transport contracts amounting to 18 billion cubic feet daily, and only 68 percent is being used.

“This results in disbursements from the CFE to try to recover equivalent to 10 million pesos a year,” Nahle’s letter said.

The National Gas Pipeline System (Sistrangas) has a capacity of 5.9 billion cubic feet per day, 2,900 of which come from the CFE and 800 million from Pemex, explained David Rosales of the energy consultancy IDEAS.

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