Pemex Blast at Ciudad Madero Unit Kills One, Injures 11

A burst of flame at the Petroleos Mexicanos refinery in Ciudad Madero has killed one worker and injured 11, the state-owned oil company reported on its official Twitter account.

The fire occurred at one of the refinery’s coking plants which wasn’t operating at the time of the accident because of maintenance, according to Pemex. There was no damage to the refinery, which is located in the northern Tamaulipas state.

At least four accidents have occurred at the Ciudad Madero refinery this year, including a fire at a storage tank on July 22 that injured nine Pemex workers. Ciudad Madero, the smallest of Pemex’s six national refineries, processed 129,763 barrels a day last year, below the 190,000-barrel capacity.

Mexico’s Senate approved additional legislation to a law passed last year to open the national energy industry to private investment for the first time since 1938. The private investment that will be generated by the new law, estimated by Grupo Financiero Banorte SAB to reach $50 billion by 2020, will be used to improve aging infrastructure and reduce refining inefficiencies, according to Pemex Chief Executive Officer Emilio Lozoya.

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