(Reuters) - Energy production and distribution is adangerous business, in spite of strict safety regulations inmost countries in North and South America for oil and naturalgas producers and processors.
Following is a look at significant energy-related accidentsin the Americas in the course of 2010, including the deadly andenvironmentally destructive oil leak at BP's <BP.L> Macondowell in the Gulf of Mexico, which began in April and flowed forabout three months.
Sept. 8 - A naphtha tank holding 200,000 barrels caughtfire, temporarily halting shipping from a 12 million-barrelcrude and oil products storage terminal on the Caribbean islandof Bonaire. The BOPEC terminal belongs to Venezuela's state-runPDVSA oil company and is an important staging post for exportsto China and the United States.
Sept. 8 - Chile's state oil firm Enap controlled a fire andhalted activities at an oil and gas platform located in theStrait of Magellan. The company said there was no crude leakinginto the Atlantic Ocean and that workers at the platform werenot harmed.
Sept. 7 - An explosion at state oil monopoly Pemex'sCadereyta oil refinery, Mexico's third largest, killed oneworker and severely injured two others. A compressor leak atthe plant's gas oil hydrotreater unit triggered the blast andfire. The fire was quickly extinguished at the 275,000barrel-per-day plant. Eight other workers suffered minorinjuries. [ID:nN07216960]
Sept. 2 - An offshore production rig operated by MarinerEnergy <ME.N> in the Gulf of Mexico had a fire, forcing theimmediate evacuation of 13 personnel and a major rescueresponse from the U.S. Coast Guard. The company had recentlybeen producing around 1,400 barrels of crude and 9.2 millioncubic feet per day of natural gas at the site. [ID:nN02243726]
July 26 - The Enbridge 6B <ENB.TO> crude pipeline, capacity190,000 barrels per day, ruptured in Michigan and spilled morethan 19,000 barrels into local waterways in one of the largestU.S. pipeline disasters ever. The pipeline remains closed andhas affected some refinery operations across the U.S. Midwest.[ID:nN01156182]
June 7 - A natural gas pipeline explosion on a line ownedby Enterprise Product Partners <EPD.N> in North Texas killedone person. The 36-inch (91-cm) pipeline exploded 15 miles (24km) south of Godley, Texas. An electrical crew was digging ahole when it struck the gas pipeline. Enterprise violatedseveral state regulations including adequately marking the pathof the pipeline, according to the Texas Railroad Commission.[ID:nN07179091]
June 7 - An explosion and resulting fireball burned sevenmembers of a crew drilling for natural gas at an abandoned coalmine in West Virginia, the second big fire at an energy projectin the region in less than a week. [ID:nN07216379]
June 4 - Workers capped a natural gas well in centralPennsylvania after it ruptured during drilling, spewing gas anddrilling fluid 75 feet (23 meters) in the air. The well,operated by EOG Resources Inc <EOG.N> blew out when a drillingteam was preparing to extract gas. No one was killed orinjured, but officials later ordered the company to haltnatural gas drilling in the state. [ID:nN04144723]
May 13 - A Venezuelan natural gas exploration rig sank inthe Caribbean sea. All 95 workers on the rig were rescued andthere was no gas leak. [ID:nN13256518]
April 20 - Explosion and fire on Transocean Ltd's drillingrig Deepwater Horizon licensed to BP <BP.L>; 11 workers werekilled on the rig stationed in deep waters south of Louisiana.The runaway oil well spilled up to 4.9 million barrels beforeit 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 inMontcoal, West Virginia, 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 injury rate over the last10 years, with three fatalities since 1998. [ID:nN06200853]
April 2 - Four workers died in a blaze at Tesoro Corp's<TSO.N> refinery in Anacortes, Washington, in the worst U.S.refining disaster since 2005. The fire resulted from equipmentfailure in a highly flammable unit producing naphtha at theplant. [ID:nN05192907]
March 2 - A fire on an asphalt tank under constructionkilled two workers at Holly Corp's <HOC.N> Navajo refinery inArtesia, New Mexico. [ID:nN02195856] (Compiled by Joshua Schneyer, Alden Bentley, Janet McGurty andJasmin Melvin; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)