A severe fire erupted early Friday morning at an offshore platform operated by Pemex, the Mexican state oil company, located just off the southern edge of the Gulf of Mexico. The unfortunate incident resulted in the death of two workers, with one still missing.
Pemex confirmed via Twitter that all other workers were accounted for and acknowledged that the fire had significantly impacted oil production. Social media was flooded with videos showing the colossal platform and its complex network of pipelines consumed by the blaze, as nearby boats attempted to extinguish the fire with hoses.
The platform is part of Pemex’s Cantarell Field, which was once among the most productive oil fields globally. Earlier in the day, Pemex reported that six individuals had been injured due to the fire, which initially ignited at the Nohoch-A platform and subsequently spread to a compression platform. As of Friday evening, it remained uncertain whether the casualties were included in the previously reported injuries.
Later on Friday, Pemex stated that the fire had “substantially impacted” oil production, although the company did not provide specific details regarding the extent of the output disruption. “Our technicians are studying how to repair the pipelines, interconnections, and other works to restore it,” Pemex announced in a separate Twitter post.
Octavio Romero, the Chief Executive Officer, addressed the incident in a company video. “We’re going to keep looking for this person as our number one priority, as well as think about how we can reactivate activity in the area because Nohoch is very important,” he stated.
A Pemex statement released Friday morning revealed that 321 out of 328 people working on the expansive platform had been successfully evacuated. Over the past decade, crude output from Cantarell has significantly declined. However, it still contributes around 170,000 barrels per day, according to company data.
The majority of Mexican oil production originates from nearby shallow water fields grouped around the Bay of Campeche in the southern Gulf. This area, where Pemex has experienced several industrial accidents in recent years, is crucial for the country’s oil output.