Published On: Tue, Oct 30th, 2012

PEMEX Under the Spotlight for Pipeline Leak in Progreso Pier

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For the third time this year, a diesel leak is reported in the undersea pipelines of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), which pass under the arches of the pier in Progreso.

The leak was reported by fishermen to the Navy Secretariat of Mexico, to the Port Authority (API) and to PEMEX, but until last Thursday the pipeline had not been inspected. The fishermen interviewed declared that the smell of diesel is very strong, but most likely the leak is small. They also stated that this is the third time this year that the pipeline has had problems, and PEMEX always denies the existence of any kind of spill.

In January 2012, the first spill under the arches of the pier was reported, but denied by PEMEX. However, weeks later, without telling anyone, a group of divers inspected the area confirming the leakage, which was repaired.

Months later, in the same place, fishermen returned to report a new leak, which was larger, PEMEX did not intervene, much less the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), despite the environmental damage caused to the flora and fauna.

A new leak under the pier in Progreso was confirmed on Monday, October 29, the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) has discussed the possible impact to the ecosystem in Progreso, caused by the nearly 500 liters of diesel from one of the pipelines under the jurisdiction of Petróleos Mexicanos.

The deputy of PROFEPA in Yucatan, Luis Balam, explained that the source of the leak was a crack in the pipes that carry the fuel.
“According to information we have, the cause was a small pore or crack that occurs in the ducts and allows filtering.”

The federal dependency is considering whether this accident was due to lack of maintenance or for other reasons, an investigation of this case is being conducted, which might take up to two months to define the sanctions against PEMEX that could go from 20 to 50,000 days of minimum wages ($200.00 to $220,000 USD), depending on the natural damages caused.

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