The senator of the National Action Party (PAN), Xochitl Galvezfiled a criminal complaint against the Secretary of Energy, Rocío Nahle, and the general director of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Octavio Romero Oropeza, for allegedly not reporting a methane leak in one of its Marine platforms of the state oil company, according to a document to which the agency had access Reuters.
Gálvez, who is part of the environment and energy commissions, presented the complaint this Wednesday before the General Prosecutor of the Republicwhich also includes Ángel Carrizales, executive director of the Security, Energy and Environment Agency (ASEA).
Reuters sought comments from Dew NahleOctavio Romero and Ángel Carrizales through the press teams of the Ministry of Energy, Pemex and the regulator, and tried to contact them by email and Twitter, but received no response.
Gálvez’s action comes after Reuters received documents through an access to information request showing that ASEA It said it had no record of Pemex reporting the December incident.
The methane leak on the Zaap-C platform, which first appeared on December 8, was discovered by researchers led by Itziar Irakulis Loitxate of the Polytechnic University of Valencia.
Their research, published in June by the European Space Agencyrevealed that Pemex released around 40 thousand tons of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, during 17 days in December.
Pemex is required to report such incidents under Mexican law, nine experts told Reuters. The news agency was unable to independently establish whether Pemex informed the authorities.
Pemex did not respond to requests for comment on the regulator’s disclosures or the criminal complaint.
The criminal complaint filed by Gálvez is the third indictment filed by the senator in recent weeks following Reuters reports of Pemex methane leaks. The above complaints were filed with a environmental regulator and a government watchdog.
The experts, all current or former officials of regulators or the Secretary of Energythey told Reuters that if it is discovered that Mexican oil you did not knowingly report or repair a methane leak, you could face a fine and those responsible for the wrongdoing could face jail time.
Pemex could also be stripped of the right to operate the Ku-Maloob-Zaap group of oil fields, they said. (rts)