“Eye of fire” in Mexican waters extinct, says national oil company
MEXICO CITY, July 2 (Reuters) – An ocean surface fire west of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula was extinguished on Friday morning, state-owned oil company Pemex said, accusing a gas leak from a underwater pipeline to start the fire captured in viral videos.
Bright orange flames leaping out of the water resembling molten lava have been dubbed a “fiery eye” on social media due to the circular shape of the fire, as it raged at a short distance. distance from a Pemex oil rig.
The fire took more than five hours to extinguish completely, according to Pemex.
The blaze started in an undersea pipeline that connects to a platform of Pemex’s flagship oil development, the company’s largest Ku Maloob Zaap, four sources told Reuters earlier.
Ku Maloob Zaap is located just above the southern edge of the Gulf of Mexico.
Pemex said no injuries were reported and project output was unaffected after the gas leak was triggered at around 5:15 a.m. local time. It was completely off at 10:30 a.m.
The company added that it would investigate the cause of the fire.
Pemex, which has a long history of major industrial accidents at its facilities, added that it also closed the valves on the 12-inch-diameter pipeline.
Angel Carrizales, head of the Mexican oil security regulator ASEA, wrote on Twitter that the incident “did not generate any spills.” He did not explain what was burning on the surface of the water.
Ku Maloob Zaap is Pemex’s largest crude oil producer, accounting for over 40% of its daily production of nearly 1.7 million barrels.
“Turbomachines at Ku Maloob Zaap’s active production facilities were affected by an electrical storm and heavy rain,” according to a Pemex incident report shared by one of the Reuters sources.
Workers at the company used nitrogen to control the blaze, the report added.
Details of the incident report were not mentioned in Pemex’s brief press release, and the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reporting by Adriana Barrera and Marianna Parraga; Additional reporting by David Alire Garcia; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Daina Beth Solomon, Philippa Fletcher and David Gregorio
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