Hurricane Dean will paralyze oil extraction in Mexico 2007-08-22 04:16:49   Print

    MEXICO CITY, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Mexico's state oil enterprise Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) estimated on Tuesday losses for 350 million U.S. dollars daily since hurricane Dean paralyzed oil production southeast of Mexico.

    PEMEX stated in a communique that it withdrew 18,000 workers from 407 oil pits from Sonda de Campeche that extends across the Mexican states of Tabasco and Campeche.

    PEMEX stated it will suspend the extraction of 2.6 million barrels per day and 2,634 million cubic feet of natural gas in the region.

    The paralysis of oil activities in the next four days will cause PEMEX 1.5 billion dollars in losses.

    PEMEX's director Jesus Reyes, officials and guild leaders expressed their concern over the security of the oil installations and the safety of workers of the offshore platforms in the region.

    Hurricane Dean hit the states of Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo while it goes northward towards southern United States.

    In Quebec, Canada Mexican President Felipe Calderon said the hurricane caused PEMEX serious economic losses. Calderon is attending the Mexico-U.S.-Canada summit in Quebec.

    PEMEX's oil losses due to the paralysis are estimated at 160 million dollars daily and 190 million dollars for natural gas. The Sonda de Campeche contributes 83 percent of the national oil extraction.

    PEMEX stated it will be difficult to comply with its international commitments in the forthcoming days, in other words, its crude oil exports to the United States.

    Civilian protection officials declared red alert, maximum security alert, for Chetumal, Quintana Roo's capital, and other municipalities affected by the hurricane.

    Dean caused rainfalls and winds that tumbled posts, electric cables, trees, among others in diverse zones in the state, although no fatal victims have been registered.

    Many parts of Chetumal lacked electricity due to the fall of posts, and electricity cables.

    Thousands of national and foreign tourists, as well as residents had left Cancun prior to Dean's arrival, and thousands of others were transferred to temporary shelters.

    At 06:00 local hours (11:00 GMT) Dean was hitting Quintana Roo with sustained winds of 250 km per hour, Gonzalez said.

    The National System of Civilian Protection said that Dean was advancing at 33 km per hour towards Yucatan, next to Quintana Roo, both located in Yucatan's peninsula.

    The hurricane prompted mobilizations in Jamaica, Cuba, Cayman islands, southeast Mexico.

    Meanwhile southern U.S. officials are on the watch prior to Dean's arrival. 

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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