One Dead, Two Seriously Injured After Fire Hit Pemex Oil Platform In Mexico

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 27, 2010 file photo, An oil rig is seen in the Gulf of Mexico near the Chandeleur Islands, off the Southeastern tip of Louisiana. Energy companies have reoccupied nearly 400 of the production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico that were abandoned in advance of Hurricane Isaac, though oil production remains almost entirely shut down. Oil and gas workers began retaking the offshore sites Friday and federal officials on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012 say that 377 of the 596 productions platforms have some staffing on them, up from just 97. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

At least one contractor was killed after a fire struck an offshore platform operated by Mexico’s national oil company Pemex, the firm said in a statement on Sunday, adding that two others were in “grave” condition.

A total of nine workers suffered injuries in the blaze on Saturday afternoon that struck the company’s Akal-B platform, located in the southern Gulf of Mexico, where most of Pemex oil output originates.

Five of the nine were Pemex employees while the rest were contractors from local service providers Diavaz and COTER.

A day earlier, Pemex said only two of its employees had been injured, and that none of the injures were serious as the fire had been controlled in 16 minutes.

Pemex infrastructure across Mexico has for years suffered frequent deadly accidents, which analysts often blame on poor maintenance and other operational deficiencies.

The Akal-B platform is part of Pemex’s aging but still significant Cantarell complex of shallow water wells. The complex currently produces some 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil, but two decades ago was one of the world’s top producing fields with over 2 million bpd of output.

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.

Source: Reuters