Pemex Reports 26 Deaths At Natural Gas Facility

November 2012, Vol. 239 No. 11

Mexican state-owned oil company Pemex reported Sept. 19 that at least 26 workers were killed and a number of others injured in a fire at a natural gas reception facility in the northern state of Tamaulipas.

The fire broke out in the late morning at a gas reception center located on a highway that runs from the northern city of Monterrey to the U.S.-Mexico border city of Reynosa. The facility receives natural gas and condensates from the company’s Burgos production complex for transfer to its gas and petrochemical division.

The accident was caused when a large flame was sparked during maintenance work at a part of the facility that wasn’t in operation, Pemex said. The dead included four Pemex employees and 22 people working for companies doing contract work. Valves and other equipment were damaged as a result of the fire, the company said.

Pemex had issued a series of “critical alerts” due to low pressure in the gas pipeline system which could damage the network. It has imported more natural gas to meet rising demand. In late August, Energy Minister Jordy Herrera outlined several pipeline projects that he said would eventually provide Mexico with the infrastructure needed to move gas from where it is produced to where it is needed.