From: Associated Press
Published March 31, 2005 12:00 AM

Mexican Environmental Authorities Say Oil Pumps, Valves Also at Risk

MEXICO CITY — A study commissioned by environmental authorities following a string of embarrassing oil spills at Mexico's state-owned Pemex oil company found problems at pumping stations and valve systems, as well as in the pipelines themselves.


Earlier this month, authorities ordered Pemex to replace damaged sections of an accident-plagued pipeline involved in five recent spills along the Gulf coast.


The pipeline provoked a December spill at Nanchital, releasing about 5,000 barrels of crude into the Coatzacoalcos River feeding the Gulf of Mexico.


"For example, the pumping station at Mazumiapan, which caused the spill at Nanchital, is so outdated that there are no replacement parts for it any more," said Jose Ramon Ardavin Ituarte, assistant attorney general for environmental protection.


"The parts have to be made to order, which gives you an idea of the obsolescence," he said.


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Earlier this month, authorities ordered Pemex to replace damaged sections of an accident-plagued pipeline involved in five recent spills along the Gulf coast.


The pipeline provoked a December spill at Nanchital, releasing about 5,000 barrels of crude into the Coatzacoalcos River feeding the Gulf of Mexico.


Pemex chief executive Luis Ramirez earlier in the year said the company will need to invest billions of dollars (euros) over the next three years to make its operations safer.


Source: Associated Press


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