Mexico Pemex closes Coatzacoalcos terminal as Ernesto nears

09 August 2012 20:26  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Mexico’s Pemex has closed its terminal at the key port of Coatzacoalcos as Tropical Storm Ernesto approaches the Mexican Gulf coast, the state-owned oil company said on Thursday.

The announcement follows Wednesday’s closure of the terminals at Dos Bocas and Cayo Arcas.

Almost all of Mexico's crude oil exports, which stood at 1.425bn bpd in June, are shipped from these three ports to refineries on the US Gulf coast.

Ernesto was 5 miles (8 km) north of Coatzacoalcos, the US National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 13:00 Houston time (18:00 GMT) advisory.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 60 miles/hour and is traveling west at 5 miles/hour, the NHC said.

Pemex confirmed that there were no reports of disruptions or damage to its facilities in the south of the Gulf of Mexico.

The key oilfields of Cantarell and Ku Maloob Zaap, which account for just over half of Mexico's oil production of about 2.5m bpd, were operating normally, Pemex said.

Pemex confirmed that the small Mina-Coatza airport between Minatitlan and Coatzacoalcos in the state of Veracruz was closed on Thursday as a precaution.

In addition, 61 workers were evacuated from the Centenario drilling platform off the coast of Veracruz, but there was no disruption to production, Pemex said.

The oil company’s emergency response units remain on standby to deal with any problems, Pemex said.

By: Simon West

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