Massive Fire Engulfs Pemex Oil Tanker in Gulf of Mexico -PHOTOS
September 25, 2016 by Reuters Firefighters extinguish a fire on an oil tanker of Mexican state oil company Pemex named “Burgos” off the coast of Boca del Rio in Veracruz state, Mexico September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Victor Yanez
MEXICO CITY, Sept 24 (Reuters) – A fire broke out on an oil tanker of Mexican state oil company Pemex in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, forcing all the crew to be evacuated in the latest accident to plague the struggling firm.
The blaze on the tanker “Burgos” occurred off the coast of Boca del Rio in Veracruz state and all the crew were safe, Pemex said in a tweet. Mexico’s Navy said there were 31 crew members and that all had returned to port.
Images tweeted by Pemex showed the vessel giving off plumes of smoke as another boat hosed the tanker. REUTERS/Victor Yanez
Early on Saturday evening, Pemex said that firefighting teams were still working to put out the blaze.
The tanker was carrying 80,000 barrels of diesel and 70,000 barrels of gasoline, Mexicos Communications and Transport Ministry said. This amounts to almost 7 million gallons of diesel and gasoline. The tankers in general have betwwen 8 and 12 tanks. If only two tanks caught fire, that it is possible that almost two million gallons of oil burned off.
The fire follows a series of other mishaps at Pemex, which is coping with major losses, increased competition at home, sharp budget cuts and lower revenue due to the oil price rout. REUTERS/Victor Yanez
In April, more than 30 people died and dozens were injured in an explosion at a petrochemical plant in southeast Veracruz state, a joint venture between Pemex and another firm.
In 2013, at least 37 people were killed by a blast at Pemex’s Mexico City headquarters, and 26 people died in a fire at a Pemex natural gas facility in northern Mexico in 2012.
A 2015 fire at a Pemex platform in the Bay of Campeche affected oil output and cost the company up to $780 million. Firefighters extinguish a fire on an oil tanker of Mexican state oil company Pemex named “Burgos” off the coast of Boca del Rio in Veracruz state, Mexico September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Victor Yanez
Marine Traffic, a website that tracks vessel movements, showed the 11-year-old tanker en route to the port of Veracruz from Coatzacoalcos in the southern part of the state. (Reporting by Natalie Schachar and Noe Torres; Editing by Dave Graham, Matthew Lewis, Meredith Mazzilli and Michael Perry)
Fire on board of chemical tanker Burgos put under control
September 26, 2016
The fire on board of the Pemex chemical tanker Burgos was put under control after 30 hours of firefighting. The flames engulfed the two fore cargo tanks, but were restricted from spreading to the whole vessel or neighboring tanks. According to the local authorities more than 167,000 barrels of fuel burned into the fire, but firefighters main task is to protect the vessel from extension of the flames.
The fire will be completely extinguished within 1-2 days, due to the complicated type of cargo and danger for seaworthiness of the ship. In firefighting were engaged three fire boats, five harbor tugs and four Mexican Navy vessels, which continue to pour water over the vessel’s hull, trying to decrease its temperature and prevent cracking and breaching.
According to local authorities, there is no major oil spill and environment pollution, except several small oil spots around the burning tanker. At the scene of the vessel are dispatched boats with oil booms and water cleansing equipment, which aims to prevent additional spreading of the oil spots.
“There is no other risk, the fuel is spilling into the sea, but not polluting because it burns. No oil is going to the seabed. It remains on the surface, where is burning”, said the director of APIVER, Juan Ignacio Fernandez Carvajal. “Still there is risk of sinking, but we are trying to avoid it”, added he.