Gas leak sparks "eye of fire" in the Gulf of Mexico

July 5, 2021 | Environment
Pemex: the ocean is on fire after a gas leak accident in the Gulf of Mexico

A leak on an underwater pipeline located near an offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico sparked a massive "eye of fire" on the ocean's surface.

The accident took place at a natural gas operation owned by Pemex, the Mexican state-owned oil and gas company.

The gas leak occurred at 5:15 am and caused a fire 150 meters from the Ku-Maloob-Zaap platform located off the coast of the Bay of Campeche.

The facility's three firefighting vessels were only able to extinguish the fire five hours after the accident using nitrogen.

Pemex said that there were no deaths or injuries and that the pipeline's connection valves were closed to control the gas leak.

The Mexican enterprise has not revealed the impact of the fire on marine life and only referred that the leak on a 12-inch diameter pipeline did not cause an oil spill.

Environmentalists say this is one of the many examples of the tragic consequences of the fossil fuel paradigm.

"These are the risks we face on a daily basis and which call for a change in the energy model," notes Gustavo Ampugnani, executive director of Greenpeace Mexico.

Oil Exploration Will Continue

The Ku-Maloob-Zaap platform is one of the most important Pemex assets.

It produces over 700,000 barrels of oil a day, i.e., 40 percent of the company's overall output.

The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, recently announced that the country will continue to invest billions of dollars in strengthening Pemex's offshore drilling and oil exploration plans.

Pemex was founded by Lázaro Cárdenas on June 7, 1938. The company produces fuel, natural gas, and other petrochemicals.

In 2019, Petróleos Mexicanos reported revenues of 74.4 billion dollars.

Pemex is the second-largest company in Latin America after Brazilian national oil company Petrobras.

According to a joint investigation by The Guardian and the Climate Accountability Institute, Pemex is the seventh most polluting company in the world.

With a 107 billion dollar debt, it is also one of the most indebted oil companies in the world.

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