Five dead and two missing after fire on Pemex offshore oil platform

Article by Amanda Doyle

A FIRE at a Pemex offshore oil platform has resulted in the deaths of five workers, with two still missing.

The oil platform is located at the Ku-Maloob-Zaap oil field in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The fire started at around 15:10 local time on 22 August during routine maintenance at a compression and power generation facility according to The Financial Times. It was extinguished at around 16:30. One Pemex employee and four employees of oilfield services group Cotemar were killed in the fire. Six people were injured and one is in serious condition. Two others, who work for contractor Bufete de Monitoreo de Condiciones e Integridad, are still missing.

Work had to be halted at 125 oil wells which rely on the platform to provide gas and electricity, according to the BBC. This has led to Mexico’s oil output being temporarily reduced by almost a quarter, with around 420,000 bbl/d offline.

Reuters reported that as of 25 August, 35 wells with a production capacity of 71,000 bbl/d have been brought back online. Pemex expects that all production will resume by 30 August.

The BBC reported that Octavio Romero, CEO of Pemex, said at a news conference that a lack of investment was not the cause of the incident: “There is not a problem of lack of resources. The oil industry is a risky industry. We have had accidents, which in numbers are less than in previous years.”

Last month an underwater gas leak in a Pemex pipeline that connects to a platform at the Ku-Maloob-Zaap oil field resulted in a fire on the surface of the water. No injuries occurred in that incident.  

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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