June 28, 2017 / 10:21 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-Pemex declares force majeure on Maya crude from Pacific coast

(New throughout, adds Pemex statement)

June 28 (Reuters) - Mexico’s state oil company Pemex on Wednesday said it had declared force majeure on five cargoes of Maya crude slated to load at its Salina Cruz terminal on the Pacific Coast after flooding and a fire hit the refinery there earlier this month.

The oil was redirected to the Gulf of Mexico for sale to other customers, and the company sees no impact on its total U.S. exports, Pemex said in a statement. The oil had been destined for the U.S. West Coast.

Reuters reported earlier on Wednesday that at least two shipments had been suspended.

The 330,000-barrel-per-day Salina Cruz refinery, Mexico’s biggest, has been inactive since the fire in mid June.

Pemex plans to restart in late July and increase gasoline imports by 3.5 million barrels for the coming months to supply Mexico’s domestic market.

The incident also affected Salina Cruz’s crude loading operations, which serves customers on the Pacific, a source told Reuters. A source at Pemex said the company is currently loading crude at its Gulf terminals only.

Mexico’s crude exports are more reliable than Colombian or Venezuelan oil sales, which are often affected by problems at terminals, attacks or lack of production of certain grades.

But the fire affecting Mexico’s Pacific operations was large, leaving nine people injured and a firefighter dead. The incident occurred a day after Tropical Storm Calvin triggered flooding that burst though dams meant to contain a form of heavy oil, causing a spill that later ignited. (Reporting by Florence Tan in Singapore, Catherine Ngai in New York, Liz Hampton and Marianna Parraga in Houston and Adriana Barrera and Ana Isabel Martinez in Mexico City; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Marguerita Choy and David Gregorio)

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