The fire has invaded the waters of the sea of the State of Campeche, in the Gulf of Mexico for hours. A fire broke out early this Friday due to a gas leak in a Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) pipeline, about 150 meters from the KU-C satellite platform of Pemex’s Ku-Maloob-Zaap (KMZ) oil complex. The state oil company has reported this afternoon that the flames have already been controlled and that no injuries or effects on the extraction of crude have been reported.
The fire was reported at 05:15 (local time) this Friday on a 12-inch submarine line, located a few meters from the KU-C platform, which is uninhabited, in the Campeche Sound. According to the state company, the fire was extinguished after just over five hours of work in the area, so the operation of the platform was restored. “The incident was dealt with immediately when the security protocols were activated and with the accompaniment of nearby fire fighting vessels such as Santa Cruz Island, Campeche Bay and Bourbon Alienor,” Pemex reported in a statement. At a later event, the president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said that an investigation will be conducted to determine the causes of the incident.
Three ships have supported to douse the flames, thus avoiding any direct risk towards the Ku Sierra platform. The company has announced that expert divers in accident control will go down to repair and close valves located at a depth of 78 meters. The Ku-Maloob-Zaap complex contributes more than 40% of Pemex’s 1.68 million barrels of crude per day.
Last April, the oil company also suffered a fire at the Minatitlán refinery, in the state of Veracruz, leaving seven injured. Reports on the incident pointed out that the flames were caused by a leak in the charge pump of the plant called reformer. The third largest refinery in Mexico stopped operating for several weeks as a result of the fire.
In the midst of a confrontation between López Obrador and the private initiative and the Judiciary over its energy policy, Pemex is experiencing one of its most critical operational moments. Contrary to the first estimates of the federal government that placed crude oil production at 2.4 million barrels per day, last March President López Obrador declared that during his government there will be a “moderate production”, which will imply that it will not exceed the two million barrels a day during his Administration. After the operational debacle that in the last section of 2020 placed Pemex with a daily production of 1.6 million barrels – the lowest in 40 years – the oil company has shown a slight improvement, at the beginning of this year with production of almost 1.7 million per day.
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