Mexico natgas fire death toll rises, no petchem impact seen

19 September 2012 18:42  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A fire at a Pemex natural gas facility in northern Mexico that has killed 26 people has not had any impact on petrochemical production so far, a source with Pemex Petroquimica said on Wednesday.

The fire at the Pemex facility occurred on Tuesday near Reynosa in the state of Tamaulipas and was extinguished in about two hours.

The facility transfers natural gas from Pemex's Burgos production complex to the company's gas and petrochemcial division.

Production was normal at all petrochemical facilities, the Pemex source said, except for the 100,000 tonnes/year Asahi high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant that has been down for maintenance since 27 August.

Mexican authorities have called for an exhaustive investigation of the explosion to prevent future accidents.

At least five to seven persons were still missing after the fire. Pemex was trying to confirm the number with contractors that work in the area.

A gas leak appeared to be the likely cause of the fire, according to local news media reports, but an investigation was still underway.

By: George Martin
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