Natural gas has become an essential service for the Colombian population. In 2020, the number of homes in the country that had natural gas presented a year-on-year growth of 4% since 2016, which meant going from 8.6 million to 10.2 million users, according to the 2021 Natural Gas Sector Report, presented by Promigas.
This was catalogued as a milestone by Eric Flesch, president of said company. "This is a great social revolution, a figure that very few countries in the world can show and of which we are very proud," said the executive.
According to the same document, Colombia has become a reference in the natural gas industry in Latin America, not only because it has the largest number of users in the region, but also because a large part of this, 85%, is part of the strata one, two and three, making it a service available to all.
According to the Promigas report of 2021, the proven reserves of natural gas in Colombia as of 2020 were 2.9 Tera Cubic Feet (TPC). According to the Ministry of Mines and Energy's accounts, this would serve to provide self-sufficiency for 7.7 years, the lowest figure in the last decade.
In spite of this, the potential natural gas reserves would be much higher, at 54 Tera Cubic Feet. Of these, 30 would be offshore, whose exploitation is expected to start between 2024 and 2028; meanwhile, the other 24 TPC would be in Unconventional Fields (YNC) in Magdalena Medio, Cesar-Ranchería and Catatumbo.
In turn, in an interview with La República, the president of Naturgas, Luz Estella Murgas, referred to the unusual event that occurred in the southwest of Colombia, and the reasons why the supply of this product was cut in departments such as Caldas, Risaralda, Quindío, Nariño, Cauca and Valle del Cauca.
"We are working with the risk unit, the geological service and the national government for the construction of the two flexible pipeline lines. One, we need to find the cause of the heating, which is not volcanic, that would allow perhaps to have gas faster. Maybe the origin is organic waste, the point is next to the road. But we need to pinpoint the diagnosis", he said in an interview with the media.
He also spoke about the possibility that the origin has to do with organic waste, although it is something that is not certain: "We need to diagnose the cause. We know that it does not come from volcanic origin and if we determine this cause we could reactivate the supply".
And he explained that the sector is watching for the Energy and Gas Regulatory Commission (Creg) to show signs so that investors are confident that the sector will recover.
"The essential demand in this area is 33 million cubic feet. Industrialists since Saturday have sought other backup fuels to be able to operate, but natural gas is still cheaper and they require it to have little impact for their operations," he added.
Measures to save natural gas at home
After the announcement of the company Gases de Occidente of the suspension of natural gas service in the southwest of Colombia, due to a force majeure event occurred in the Mariquita-Cali pipeline, in El País we give you some recommendations to save natural gas at home.
Through a press release, Gases de Occidente urged residential and commercial users to make rational use of natural gas and, if possible, to find substitute energy sources for their processes.
It also warned companies to be prepared with alternative fuels for their production and gas vehicle stations to inform their users about the mobilization of vehicles with other types of fuels.
How to save natural gas at home with water heaters
- Set an optimal water heater temperature. At most this should be at 45 degrees since it is more than enough and, in this way, you ensure that the consumption of your home will not skyrocket.
- Turn off taps: essential to know how to save natural gas at home.
- Beware of turning on the hot water when you do not need it: Many times you want to wash your hands or take a shower with cold water and when the faucet is in the hot water position you turn it on and activate the heater. In this way, you are paying for a consumption that you are not going to use.
Savings in the kitchen
- Do not open the oven while cooking. This practice contributes to heat loss and is counterproductive to saving natural gas at home.
- Always keep the stove clean. This way, the burners will have a better combustion.
- Use specific utensils for each stove. That is to say, the frying pan must have a size according to your kitchen to get a faster cooking. This point is very important to know how to save natural gas at home and is not always taken into account.