Monday, June 17, 2024

Fire at Pemex oil platform leaves 1 worker dead, 13 injured

One person was killed and at least 13 others were injured after an explosion at an offshore platform operated by Mexico’s national oil company Pemex.

The Saturday afternoon explosion at the company’s Akal-B platform, located in the southern Gulf of Mexico, led to a fire that was controlled within thirty minutes of the explosion, according to a company statement.

Nohoch-A after the fire
The Akal-B platform is located within Pemex’s Cantarell Field, which was previously the site of a major oil spill and fire that killed two in July 2023. (Carlos Alvarez/Twitter)

At least six of the victims — including the one fatally injured — are employees of the contractor COTER, whereas three victims are employees of the company Diavaz. Five victims are direct employees of Pemex.

All were airlifted to a Social Security (IMSS) hospital in Isla del Carmen, just off the coast of the nearby state of Campeche, immediately following the incident. 

In its statement, the state-owned oil company said one of its employees would be airlifted to Mexico City for treatment of life-threatening injuries; two others suffered second and third-degree burns but were in stable condition, and two had suffered serious contusions but were in stable condition. 

Four victims so far have been released from the Isla del Carmen hospital in good condition.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing. The fire broke out in a section of the platform where gas pipelines are located. The newspaper Forbes México reported that a total of 28 people were on the platform when the explosion occurred.

Pemex has yet to explain how oil and gas production might be affected by the accident nor did it offer an estimate as to when operations might be re-established there.

The Akal-B platform is part of Pemex’s valuable Cantarell Field of shallow-water wells, where in July 2023, the Nohoch-A link platform caught fire, killing two contract workers.

The Cantarell Field produces roughly 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

With reports from El Economista, Forbes México and El Financiero

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