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Mexican Oil Well Fire is Out of Control, Could Burn for Weeks

Laurence Iliff -
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October 31, 2013

MEXICO CITY — A fire at an oil and gas well in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco is out of control and could burn for weeks, Petróleos Mexicanos said Wednesday.

Pemex, as the Mexican state oil monopoly is known, said it is seeking help from U.S. companies that specialize in putting out the stubborn blazes.

It said that there were no injuries at the well, about 12 miles north of the Tabasco capital of Villahermosa, and that a small community nearby hasn’t been evacuated. The fire, while out of control, has been contained to the well site and doesn’t pose a risk of explosion, the company said in a statement.

A Pemex spokesman said the well came online only a month ago and was producing 15,000 million cubic feet a day of gas and 5,000 barrels a day of crude oil. Pemex’s overall crude output is around 2.5 million barrels per day.

Pemex said it is deliberately letting the fire burn to avoid the formation of a dangerous gas cloud.

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