Equipment failure blamed for fire at New Mexico oil site

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) – Investigators say an apparent equipment failure is likely to blame for a fire that shut down an oil production site in northwestern New Mexico in July.

Tulsa, Oklahoma-based WPX Energy announced the findings of a three-month review on its website this week. The company says the investigation included interviews with a dozen people.

Officials say evidence suggests the fire started a transfer pump that was used to move oil between temporary storage tanks that were on site for the startup of new oil wells.

At the onset, 36 temporary storage tanks caught fire and it took a few days for the last of the flames to burn out. There were no injuries but the fire forced the evacuation of nearby residents.

WPX says it has taken steps to reduce the possibility of a similar incident. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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