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Pemex LPG pipeline in Central Mexico explodes, fire controlled

Mexico City — A LPG pipeline owned by Pemex exploded Monday morning in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, with authorities working into the afternoon to contain the blaze, the local municipal government of Celaya said.

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Local firefighters and Pemex were eventually able to control the fire at a 14-inch LPG pipeline, Celaya government officials said on Twitter.

The explosion was created by an accident caused by excavation equipment, Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue told local media Monday afternoon.

Sinhue dismissed the speculation from local media the explosion might have been caused by a tap made by fuel thieves.

The explosion occurred away from inhabited areas and did not present a risk to local population, according to several local media reports.

Pemex did not respond to requests for comment. The extent the damage is unclear.

The pipeline affected is likely to be the 1,500-km long Cactus-Guadalajara pipeline, which has a capacity to move up to 900,000 b/d of LPG. The line connects the Cactus Gas Processing Plant in Southern Mexico with the Bajio region.

According to the country's Energy Secretariat, known as SENER, Mexico is one of the world's three largest LPG consumers.

The country imported 172,000 b/d of LPG in the last year, with private companies accounting for over two-thirds of imports, SENER data shows.

Mexico sources 80% of its LPG imports from the US, and the rest from Canada. Combined with Pemex's domestic LPG production, the total national offer over the last twelve months has been 287,000 b/d, according to SENER.

-- Daniel Rodriguez,

-- Edited by Jim Levesque,