About 4 p.m. on January 31st, an explosion ripped through three floors of a Pemex administrative building at its headquarters complex in downtown Mexico City. Additionally, the blast—traveling through an underground tunnel—damaged a services building across the street. There were 37 fatalities and some 100 injuries.
According to early reports, the explosion originated in the sub-basement and penetrated the basement, first floor and mezzanine. It was a “clean” explosion, as experts put it, without a fire or dark smoke. Pemex and the government put the cause as an accumulation of methane gas.
The government’s explanation soon ran into difficulties: architectural plans for the building did not show gas pipelines in the sub-basement; further, all gas distributed to commercial or residential buildings requires an odorant, and there was no smell of gas.
As would be expected in Mexico, counter-narratives soon sprang up. The narratives all postulated that the explosion was intentional; but the presumed authors and motives varied widely.
Our report 146 examines the government’s narrative about the explosion as well as the several counter-narratives. The report concludes that the government is on the defensive, as its explanatory pieces do not yet fit together.
The report was reviewed in a blog by John Kingston, News Editor at Platts in New York City, who compared our report on the explosion at Pemex to a spy novel.
Click http://blogs.platts.com/2013/02/15/pemex-blast/ to read Platts article.
Download Energia’s Market Note 146 Explosion at Pemex HQ Building B-2 (Outline).