VIDEO: Fire at Pemex platform kills two and hits oil production

Two workers have died and one remains missing following a fire at an oil production platform in the Pemex-operated Cantarell shallow-water field in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the Mexican state-owned energy company, the Nohoch-A platform was evacuated of more than 320 workers after the fire broke out on 7 July .

At least six people were injured. One had burns in more than a third of his body and was transferred to a hospital in Mexico City for further treatment.

Four boats were dispatched on 7 July to control the fire and prevent the blaze from spreading to the other four platforms in the Cantarell complex.

Pemex chief executive Octavio Romero Oropeza said the fire was extinguished later that same day but the incident resulted in an overall loss of production of about 700,000 barrels of oil.

The part of the Nohoch-A platform where the fire started has been completely destroyed and Pemex is investigating the causes of the accident.

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Oropeza added the company is now focusing its efforts on looking for the missing person and resume operations.

Fire: boats spray water onto the Nohoch-A platform at Pemex’s Cantarell field in the Gulf of Mexico Photo: PEMEX

“Our technicians are studying how to repair the pipelines, interconnections and other works to restore it,” Pemex said in a Twitter post.

Located in the shallow waters of the Bay of Campeche area, Cantarell was once Mexico’s largest offshore cluster. It comprises the Akal, Nohoch, Chac and Kutz fields.

Cantarell was discovered in 1976 and outpour peaked in 2004 at more than 2.1 million barrels per day of oil, but has since been declining at a rapid race.

Before last week’s incident, Cantarell was producing about 170,000 bpd.

Pemex has a long track record of accidents at its offshore production platforms, as well as onshore facilities such as refineries.

In July 2021, a blaze that resembled a large “eye of fire” in the ocean’s surface occurred after a gas leak in a subsea pipeline. Six weeks later, a fire at a nearby production platform killed five people.