Fire at Gulf of Mexico platform leaves two dead, several injured and one missing

Mexico’s state-owned petroleum company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has disclosed that a fire at one of its platforms off the coast of Mexico, which resulted in two fatalities, also impacted several thousand barrels of crude oil, thus, the firm intends to speed up the return to production process. Unfortunately, in this tragic incident at least eight offshore workers suffered injuries, two are dead, and one is still missing.

Pemex's Gulf of Mexico platform catches fire; Source: Lilly Téllez (Twitter)

Pemex revealed on Friday, 7 July 2023, that a fire broke out at the Nohoch – A platform at approximately 5:25 a.m. in the Gulf of Mexico, thus, the emergency shutdown system was activated and four boats were sent to control the fire. Out of the five platforms, only one was affected by the accident, which is the Nohoch A platform processing centre in the Cantarell oil and gas field located in the Bay of Campeche, offshore Mexico. 

According to the Mexican giant, 328 workers were working at the platform at the time of the fire. Out of these, 321 were evacuated with the support of seven boats. Octavio Romero Oropeza, Pemex’s general director, confirmed later that three of the firm’s workers were injured, but out of danger while two workers from an undisclosed private contractor lost their lives in the fire, five more were injured, and one was still missing.

View on Twitter.

As the firefighting boats arrived on time, Oropeza claims that this prevented the fire from spreading to the other platforms of the Nohoch processing centre. While reiterating that the most important thing for Pemex is the safety of its personnel, as well as the employees of the companies that work there, Oropeza provided more information about the workers who were affected by this fire.

Out of the three injured workers from Pemex, which are out of danger, two of them are already at home while the third one has burns on 35 per cent of his body and needed to be transferred to the Hospital Central Sur de Alta Especialidad in Picacho, Mexico City, to receive specific care for these burns. 

In addition, five people, who work for the undisclosed private company, were injured during the fire but none of them are at risk of losing their lives. However, two workers from the same company did perish in the fire while one is still unaccounted for. Based on Oropeza’s statement, all those affected will receive “full support” from Petróleos Mexicanos and the company where they work. 

This fire incident has affected several thousand barrels of crude oil equivalent, thus, Oropeza underscores that Pemex will be seeking “a rapid return to oil and gas production with defined strategies.” The fire has been brought under control and the work is now underway to find the root cause of this incident.

View on Twitter.

This is not the first time that an incident of this sort has befallen one of Pemex’s platforms, as the ‘Eye of fire’, which appeared near the company’s Ku Maloob Zaap oil development in early July 2021, also made the headlines.

While a gas leak from an underwater pipeline was responsible for starting the blaze captured in videos that quickly went viral, Pemex later said that environmental damage from the incident was avoided due to quick action by its workers.