The Energy Secretariat said it will take measures to protect the Yucatan reef zone from oil exploration and extraction….
PROGRESO — The Energy Secretariat (Sener) will ask the Agency for Safety, Energy and Environment (ASEA) to prepare a study that analyzes in-depth the environmental implications of the possible exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons in the contracted area number 30, included in the tender 2.4 in deep and ultra deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, with respect to the natural protected area known as Alacranes Reef.
The reef is located in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula and 188 kilometers from the port of Progreso.
Sener promoted five areas to safeguard oil exploration and extraction activities in the national territory, one of which corresponds to the protection of 219,012 km2 of the Yucatan Peninsula, including wetland areas, Ramsar sites and reefs.
The Alacranes Reef is located within this safeguard zone, as an additional measure to the legislation emanated from the Energy Reform that prohibits all activities of exploration and extraction of oil within protected natural areas.
In this context, contractual area number 30 was located at a distance of 23.5 km outside the safe area, 48 km outside the protected natural area and 64.5 km from the Alacranes Reef, distances greater than those in other regions of the planet where are oil rigs much closer to coral formations in good environmental conditions.
In order to be even more certain about the environmental integrity of the protected natural area, Sener has decided to ask ASEA to assess whether these distances are adequate.
Since the time required for the environmental study exceeds the period of implementation of the oil tender, Sener has asked the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) to exclude this area from contract in round 2.4.
Thus, tender 2.4 would consist of 29 contractual areas in the deep and ultra deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and the auction will be held on January 31, 2018 as stipulated by the CNH, indicated in a statement.
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