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Pemex Oil Platform Fire Claims At Least One Life

One person has been killed, with two others in critical condition, following a fire over the weekend at an offshore platform operated by Mexico’s state-run Pemex in the southern Gulf of Mexico. 

Nine workers were injured in the fire that started on Saturday at Pemex’s offshore Akal-B platform, according to Reuters. 

Initially, on Sunday, Pemex had reported that the fire had resulted in injuries for two people, none critical, claiming that the fire had been brought under control in a matter of minutes. 

On Monday, however, new reports emerged of the true extent of the damage and at least one fatality. 

No additional information was yet available on the critically injured workers at the time of writing, nor was there any indication from Pemex as to the impact on the platform’s oil and gas production, with the investigation continuing. 

Pemex has struggled with frequent fatal accidents on its oil platforms, which are aging. 

The company’s Akal-B platform is situated in the shallow well Cantarell complex, which produces around 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil, down from over 2 million bpd 20 years ago, according to Reuters. 

In its statement, Pemex did not detail how oil and gas production from the complex had been affected. It did note that the company continued to investigate the cause of the incident as well as actions needed in order to "reestablish" operations at its processing center.

In July 2023, a fire on a Pemex-operated platform in the Bay of Campeche in the same field killed two workers and injured at least four others. That fire led to the shut-in of 700,000 barrels of oil. 

In 2021, a fire erupted at an offshore gas-processing plant in the Bay of Campeche, killing five people and shutting in 400,000 bpd. That fire was the second in two months, sparking criticism of that underinvestment is posing a grave safety risk. 

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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