Surveys begin in Gulf of Mexico rig fire

Pemex reports release, but no injuries, at installation.

By Daniel J. Graeber

MEXICO CITY, June 23 (UPI) -- Federal agencies in Mexico said they're conducting aerial surveillance of a fire that occurred on a platform in the southern Gulf of Mexico.

State-run news agency Notimex said federal authorities are surveying the scene of a fire at the Akal-H platform. Oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, known also as Pemex, reported an oil and natural gas leak at the site early Monday morning.


No injuries were reported and the oil company said fire boats deployed to the platform extinguished the fire "immediately."

Three workers were on board the platform conducting a routine inspection at the time of the incident, but evacuated safely. The company said the platform is unmanned, operating automatically.

Pemex offered no indication of the volume of any spill, nor did it provide information on the status of operations at the field in question.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto last year set a goal of producing 3.5 million barrels of oil per day by 2025, which would be a 40 percent increase from 2013 levels. Pemex produces about half of its total 2.3 million barrels of oil per day from the Gulf of Mexico.


The company in May reported two fatalities as a result of a rig malfunction in the Gulf of Mexico. In April, a blaze on a platform in the Bay of Campeche in the southern waters of the Gulf of Mexico left four workers dead and more than a dozen others were injured.

Pemex said it was investigating the cause of the latest incident.

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