LA DPU plans for shortages

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Utilities > Gas provider better prepared for extreme weather

By Arin McKenna

In February 2011, large parts of New Mexico lost natural gas supplies in bitterly cold weather similar to what the state is experiencing now.

Department of Public Utilities Manager John Arrowsmith said that although New Mexico Gas Company has not finalized plans for dealing with such an emergency, it is better prepared to deal with issues as they arise.

“I think they are a lot more vigilant about the supply to their system and the demands on their system and I think they’re working with the various groups to try to remedy the problem, to either make sure they have additional compression or additional facilities online or, if there is a crisis, to identify it early and ask each one of the users of the system to cut their use in advance of a collapse,” Arrowsmith said.

The crisis two years ago resulted when areas of Texas and Southern New Mexico lost electrical power, compromising NMGC’s ability to compress gas. That dropped pressure in the line and NMGC decided to shut down supplies to Bernalillo, parts of Albuquerque and Northern New Mexico in order to maintain sufficient pressure in the rest of its lines.

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