MEXICO CITY— Freezing weather in Texas led to a chain of events that left almost 5 million customers in northern Mexico without power Monday as a shortage of natural gas disrupted electricity production.
Mexico's government-owned utility, the Federal Electricity Commission, said its operations were left short as the winter storm in Texas froze natural gas pipelines.
Mexico uses gas to generate about 60% of its power, compared to about 40% in the United States. Mexico built pipelines to take advantage of cheap natural gas from the U.S., often obtained by fracking in Texas, but Mexico does not allow fracking in its own territory.
The utility said U.S. electricity demand also rose as temperatures plunged across the border, leading to much higher prices. It said gas prices had risen from about $3 per million BTUs to as much as $600 in recent days.