(Reuters) - Energy production and distribution is a dangerousbusiness, in spite of strict safety regulations in most countries in North andSouth America for oil and natural gas producers and processors.
Following is a look at significant energy-related disasters in the Americasin the course of 2010, including the deadly and environmentally destructive oilleak at BP's <BP.L> Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, which began in Apriland flowed for about three months.
Sept. 7 - An explosion at state oil monopoly Pemex's Cadereyta oilrefinery, Mexico's third largest, killed one worker and severely injured twoothers. A compressor leak at the plant's gas oil hydrotreater unit triggeredthe blast and fire. The fire was quickly extinguished at the 275,000 barrel perday plant. Eight other workers suffered minor injuries. [ID:nN07230164]
Sept. 2 - An offshore production rig operated by Mariner Energy <ME.N> inthe Gulf of Mexico had a fire, forcing the immediate evacuation of 13 personneland a major rescue response -- currently in progress -- from the U.S. CoastGuard, which said it identified an oil sheen at the site. The company hadrecently been producing around 1,400 barrels of crude and 9.2 million cubicfeet per day of natural gas at the site. [ID:nN02220827]
July 26 - The Enbridge 6B <ENB.TO> crude pipeline, capacity 190,000 barrelsper day, ruptured in Michigan and spilled more than 19,000 barrels into localwaterways in one of the largest U.S. pipeline disasters ever. The pipelineremains closed and has affected some refinery operations across the U.S.Midwest. [ID:nN01156182]
June 7 - A natural gas pipeline explosion on a line owned by EnterpriseProduct Partners <EPD.N> in North Texas killed one person. The 36-inch (91-cm)pipeline exploded 15 miles (24 km) south of Godley, Texas. An electrical crewwas digging a hole when it struck the gas pipeline. Enterprise violated severalstate regulations including adequately marking the path of the pipeline,according to the Texas Railroad Commission. [ID:nN07179091]
June 7 - An explosion and resulting fireball burned seven members of a crewdrilling for natural gas at an abandoned coal mine in West Virginia, the secondbig fire at an energy project in the region in less than a week.[ID:nN07216379]
June 4 - Workers capped a natural gas well in central Pennsylvania after itruptured during drilling, spewing gas and drilling fluid 75 feet (23 meters) inthe air. The well, operated by EOG Resources Inc <EOG.N> blew out when adrilling team was preparing to extract gas. No one was killed or injured, butofficials later ordered the company to halt natural gas drilling in the state.[ID:nN04144723]
May 13 - A Venezuelan natural gas exploration rig sank in the Caribbeansea. All 95 workers on the rig were rescued and there was no gas leak.[ID:nN13256518]
April 20 - Explosion and fire on Transocean Ltd's drilling rig DeepwaterHorizon licensed to BP <BP.L>; 11 workers were killed on the rig stationed indeep waters south of Louisiana. The runaway oil well spilled up to 4.9 millionbarrels before it could be capped in mid-July, according to governmentestimates, making it the worst offshore oil spill in history. [ID:nN07190153]
April 5 - An explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in Montcoal, WestVirginia, killed 29 miners in the deadliest U.S. mining disaster since 1972.The mine owned by Massey Energy <MEE.N> has had a worse-than-average injuryrate over the last 10 years, with three fatalities since 1998. [ID:nN06200853]
April 2 - Four workers died in a blaze at Tesoro Corp's <TSO.N> refinery inAnacortes, Washington, in the worst U.S. refining disaster since 2005. The fireresulted from equipment failure in a highly flammable unit producing naphtha atthe plant. [ID:nN05192907]
March 2 - A fire on an asphalt tank under construction killed two workersat Holly Corp's <HOC.N> Navajo refinery in Artesia, New Mexico. [ID:nN02195856] (Compiled by Joshua Schneyer, Alden Bentley, Janet McGurty and Jasmin Melvin)