Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Explosion season

Blowing it up real good.
At least four people were killed and 16 workers injured when a fire erupted early Wednesday on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico belonging to Mexico's state petroleum giant Pemex, the company said in a statement.

The company said one of those who died when the fire broke out at dawn at the Abkatun Permanente platform was a contractor for the Mexican oil services company Cotemar.

Pemex said on Twitter that it was using eight firefighting boats to battle the blaze.
Still waiting to hear what sort of spill this might also entail.  Of course, this is not Pemex's first such incident.
Previous spills from Mexican facilities had usually occurred at active offshore wells, not processing stations such as Abkatun.

The Abkatun platform lies off the coast of the states of Campeche and Tabasco. It is further out to sea than the platform involved in the last severe fire in the area, the 2007 fire at the Kab 121 offshore rig.
That accident was caused by high waves that hit the rig, sending a boom crashing into an oil platform’s valve assembly. The blaze killed at least 21 workers and the rig spilled crude and natural gas for almost two months.

Mexico’s worst major spill in the Gulf was in June 1979, when an offshore drilling rig in Mexican waters — the Ixtoc I — blew up, releasing 140 million gallons of oil.

It took Pemex and a series of U.S. contractors nearly nine months to cap the well, and a great deal of the oil contaminated Mexican and U.S. waters.

Meanwhile, we're coming up on the 5 year anniversary of the BP bonfire.  How are we doing?
Only two tiny strips of sand and shell, dotted with a few skeletal remains of mangrove trees, are all that was left of Cat Island, a tiny isle in Barataria Bay that held thriving colonies of brown pelicans, wading birds and gulls prior to the BP Deepwater Horizion oil spill, on Tuesday (Mar. 31).
Not very long ago the barrel-half-full point of view held that fines resulting from the BP spill constituted a last chance opportunity to fund a restoration of our dying coastline.  Five years later, we're more certain than ever that this isn't going to happen in any meaningful sense.
BP says an oil spill fine any larger than $2.3 billion would drain its U.S. unit of cash and threaten its future operations in the Gulf of Mexico. BP faces up to $13.7 billion in fines for pollution caused by the 2010 disaster.

The British oil giant revealed the threshold in court papers filed Friday (March 27). It is the first mention of a specific dollar figure as BP seeks to reduce its potential fine for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

BP said its U.S. unit, BP Exploration & Production, or BP XP, is "limited" in its ability to pay the fines. A larger fine would drain the subsidiary of cash for 2015 and push it to the brink of insolvency, the company said.
 Well OK, then. We'll just keep sinking.  Sorry about asking you to risk "the brink of insolvency" and all. 

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