Sources: Pemex Declares Force Majeure On Maya Crude From Pacific Coast


June 28 (Reuters) - Mexico's oil company Pemex has declared force majeure on at least two cargoes of Maya crude to be loaded at its Salina Cruz terminal on the Pacific Coast, after a fire affected its largest refinery earlier this month, three sources told Reuters.

The 330,000-barrel-per-day Salina Cruz refinery has been inactive since mid June, when a fire hit the facility. Pemex plans to restart it 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, one of the sources said.

One of the cargoes under force majeure was supposed to be delivered at the U.S. West Coast and another one was going to Japan, the sources said.

Pemex did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A source at the Mexican state-run firm said the company is currently loading crude at its Gulf terminals only.

One of the sources said that a crude tanker scheduled to load at Salina Cruz will end up loading at Dos Bocas terminal, on Mexico's Gulf Coast. That will make the trip longer, requiring the vessel to pass through the Panama Canal and increasing the freight cost.

Mexico's crude exports are more reliable than Colombian or Venezuelan oil sales, which are often affected by terminal woes, 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 busted 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 in Mexico City; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Marguerita Choy)


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