Sep 7, 2010 1:07 PM by Melissa Canone

UPDATE-Refinery Explosion in Mexico

UPDATE- CADEREYTA, Mexico (AP) - An explosion at Mexico's third-largest
refinery Tuesday killed one worker and injured 10, the state-run
oil company said.
The blast at the Cadereyta refinery outside the northeastern
city of Monterrey was caused by a leak in a hydrogen recirculation
compressor, Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said in a statement.
Juan Sanchez Paz, 32, an operations engineer was killed and two
others suffered serious burns, Pemex said. The other eight workers
had slight injuries.
"The explosion shook the windows of the houses in the town, and
you could hear it everywhere," said Ausencio Torres, 72, a retired
refinery worker sitting in a plaza in the town of Cadereyta.
Soldiers guarded the entrance to the refinery, where smoke rose
from an area where ambulances could be seen. Refinery workers
milled around outside.
"The explosion was huge. It was very loud," said Ulises Sosa,
32, a supervisor who works near the area where the blast occurred.
Pemex did not say if the accident would affect production at the
refinery, Mexico's third-largest with a capacity of 275,000 barrels
a day.
The explosion comes as Mexico is trying to find ways to improve
its declining refining capabilities and reduce its dependence on
fuel imports.
Mexico, one of the world's largest oil producers, has to import
more than 40 percent of the gasoline it uses, a surge from just 6.9
percent 20 years ago.
Several refineries are undergoing upgrades. Significant
expansion at Cadereyta over a decade already improved output there
from 235,000 barrels a day in 1996.
Pemex is also building a new oil refinery in the central city of
Tula - the first to be constructed in three decades. The country
currently has six refineries.
Pemex is also considering importing crude oil for the first time
in decades. Company officials say importing easier-to-process light
crude will improve the efficiency of its refineries.

MEXICO CITY (AP) - State-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos
says an explosion has occurred at its Cadereyta refinery outside
the northern city of Monterrey.
Pemex spokesman Leon Mario Alzas says authorities are still
trying to determine the cause, the extent of the damage and if
anyone was hurt.
Mexican media report that several people have died in Tuesday's
explosion, but Alzas says he cannot confirm that.
Cadereyta is one of Mexico's most important refineries, with a
capacity of 235,000 barrels a day.


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