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Pemex Tanker on Fire in Gulf of Mexico

By MarEx 2016-09-25 17:13:10

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.

The tanker was carrying 80,000 barrels of diesel, 71,000 of gasoline and 16,000 barrels of desulfurized gasoline, according to Mexico’s communications and transport ministry. 

Media reports indicate light fuel being spilled from the vessel. “It’s not crude. It’s not going to the bottom of the sea. It stays on the surface,” said Juan Ignacio Fernandez Carvajal of the Veracruz Port Authority.

Vessels from the Mexican navy are on scene and booms have been placed around the vessel. 

It has not been made clear what caused the fire.

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.

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.