Explosion on Pemex rig in Gulf of Mexico forces inspectors to evacuate

Mexico City: An oil platform run by Pemex in the southern Gulf of Mexico suffered what appeared to be an explosion on Monday.

Mexico’s state run oil company confirmed that there had been an “accident” and a “fire” after a leak of oil and gas, while local media called it an “explosion”.

Emergency services in the nearby state of Campeche confirmed an accident had taken place.

The rig, Akal-H, is part of the Akal field complex, one of the most productive areas within the Cantarell field.

Usually the rig is unmanned with functions performed remotely but at the time of this accident there were three human workers on board doing routine inspections. The trio was evacuated and no injuries reported. The incident was “under control” Pemex said in a statement.

But the company could not confirm as of Monday night whether or not production has been affected.

The explosion is the third offshore incident involving Pemex this year.

In April at least four people died in a fire at another platform in the Abkatun Pol Chuc complex. And in May an accident on an offshore maintenance rig killed two workers.

With Mexico’s government set to open up its shallow water oil fields to outside competition, some industry experts feel this sequence of incidents could make firms wary of partnering with Pemex.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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