Fire at Pemex offshore platform leaves five dead and cuts Mexican oil production

Petroleos Mexicanos . Updates

A fire at an offshore oil platform operated by Mexican state oil company Pemex has killed five people and cut the country’s oil production by nearly a quarter.

About 420,000 barrels of daily oil production remained uninterrupted on Monday, the company said, following the 80-minute fire at the Gulf of Mexico facility Sunday evening.

“Right now, the platform is still not working, so they can’t continue to extract oil,” Pemex CEO Octavio Romero said at a press conference. “The wells are closed. We hope to resume production as soon as possible.”

He said the 125 wells that were laid off should resume production within “days”.

The fire represents the latest setback for the debt-laden state oil group. An underwater gas leak last month, also in the Gulf, caused a massive fire on the surface, which attracted global media attention.

Pemex was once a profitable cow for the Mexican state but is now highly dependent government grants. Most of its profits go to the state as taxes, leaving little to be invested in boosting production and forcing it to use debt to finance capital spending.

The company insisted the fire did not happen due to a lack of investment in maintenance, citing a recent budget increase.

The fire broke out on Sunday afternoon during routine maintenance of a pressure and power generation facility. Pemex said it is conducting an inspection of the facilities to determine the cause of the fire and the damage it caused.

The accident was also a setback for President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who happened They bet on the wealth of the nation on the National Oil Company.

The group was hit hard by the downturn caused by the coronavirus last year, Post huge losses. It has since returned to profit, posting a second-quarter profit of $723 million last month.

Among the five dead was a Pemex employee, while four others worked for the Cotimar Oilfield Services Group. Pemex said six other people are being treated in hospital and one of them is in serious condition. Two others remained missing.

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