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Pemex fire at Ciudad Madero refinery storage tank causes minor injuries

07.23.2014  | 

Seven workers have been treated for dehydration and two for minor burns, according to a Pemex press official who declined to be named because of company policy.



Nine Petroleos Mexicanos employees reported minor injuries after a storage tank at a refinery in Ciudad Madero caught fire late on Tuesday night.

Seven workers have been treated for dehydration and two for minor burns, according to a Pemex press official who declined to be named because of company policy

Emergency services crews continue to work to extinguish the fire at the state-owned oil producer’s refinery 500 kilometers (311 miles) north of Mexico City in the Tamaulipas state. No serious injuries have been reported.

The refinery has production capacity of 190,000 bpd. 

The blaze is at least the third accident at the site this year. A fire at the unit’s coker plant limited operations for five days in May, less than a month after a boiler exploded because of an excessive pressure build-up in April. No injuries were reported in either incident.

The Ciudad Madero refinery, the smallest of Pemex’s six national refineries, processed 129,763 bpd in 2013, and 128,293 bpd in May.

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Emilio Plascencia

Not only are the problems; lifespan, engineering and national politics for all oil concession activity and undetected problems in risk analysis but fire fighting foams of low quality and contaminated with PFOs all corruption. If applied as improved ADE 2000 Fire tank fires are extinguished they would see that in minutes foams.

Thangaraj Sellamuthu

From the email article, it appears that explosion occurred in coker unit during maintenance activities in coke tank. It is a confined area explosion either due to presence of gas in the system or escape/release of gas from other connected piping into coke tank. This can happen due to lack of safe procedural adherence otherwise there is no reason for the explosion to take place.

Jesse Wilson

On the surface, there are no common factors between the three incidents at this refinery. One incident was a utility failure, one incident was a production fire and the third was a storage tank fire. Either they are going through a very unlucky patch; or, they have a broader engineering management problem.

Arturo Fernandez

The email article is not specific as to the accident involve. It briefly states being at least the third in a series of accidents. One at the Coker, other at a boiler and the third apparently in a storage facility.
Again, apparently the ceries of accidents points to the possibility of a lack of safety procedures and more probability of a lack in monitoring corrosion in pressurized equipment and piping. AN adequate monitoring and NDE program for shutdown and repairs is necessary to prevent major accidents and loss in production and personnel.

Jaime Bárcena -México-

Those kind of raskal accidents just justify why the hide "motives are those" because National Crude Oil Company and Its Natural Resources shall be privatized indeed. But the main thing is the irresponsible not reflexive congress decision for delivering the whole México Energy Market for privatization that really means 150 billion dollars per year. That is the size of the gift to foreign an national investors and the lack of such big income tax shall seize economical circumstance condition of the Mexican people that again should pay such kind of bill ...
Respectfully the previous opinion hereto in this magazine issued is truly wrong. Due its high risky operational conditions nothing within a crude oil Refinery is bad designed. For doing that design engineer have used and applied the high code (ASME, ANSI, ASTM, DIN, BS, JIS, IEEE, CONIE, NFPA) standard requirements. And also, it must be taken in account in such point of view the age of such facilities. But "old age" was not the true cause in such event...
In PEMEX refineries electrical nets are underground separated by level electrical tension (voltage) and by duct systems very isolated and so grounded.


I think most fires on refinery these days are because of bad design and operation of electrical distribution systems in these plants, Specially for the grounding criteria has been used on these plants, which are not appropriate. The issue should be carefully judged by electrical engineers. Please visit http://www.intelectri.com/NETWORK/2/IN.pdf ready for real time simulation of an exampled refinery plants.

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