A fire registered in an offshore platform of Petróleos Mexicanos caused the suspension of activity in 125 oil wells.

Five people died, six were injured and two more are missing after a fire registered on Sunday in a maritime platform of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) that caused the suspension of activity in 125 oil wells, the state company reported Monday.

“As a consequence (of the fire) the unfortunate death of five people, six injured and two missing, was reported, one of them deceased from Pemex and four from the COTEMAR company. There are two missing from the company Bufete de Monitoreo de Conditions e Integridad. “, said the director of Pemex, Octavio Romero, in a press conference.

“The six injured are being treated in hospitals” and one of the injured is in “serious health,” he added.

The fire started at 20:10 GMT on Sunday at the E-Ku A2 Platform of the Ku-A Processing Center, located in the Campeche Sound, during scheduled maintenance tasks, the official explained.

The platform produces energy for oil extraction, which is why the operations of more than a hundred wells were suspended, which will be resumed “as soon as possible,” between Monday and Tuesday, Romero explained.

“There are 125 wells that are out of production and they will surely come into operation in a phased manner,” he said.

This suspension translated into a drop in daily oil production, from Sunday to Monday, of 425,000 barrels, Romero said.

“How much is it going to cost us (the suspension of oil production)? The time it takes to return these wells to production,” he continued.

The official explained that an electric power generator will be moved from another facility to the damaged platform so that the wells will operate again.

– “Exhaustive search” for missing persons –

Regarding the incident, Romero added that “some” of the workers who lost their lives “were carrying out preventive maintenance activities and cleaning the lines of the gas suction and discharge heads of the pneumatic pump compressors.”

“The exhaustive search for the missing personnel continues, the inspection of the facilities to assess the damage and initiate an analysis (…) to determine the origin” of the fire, which was controlled an hour after it started, he said.

The platform also performs gas reception, compression, and delivery tasks to wells for oil production.

“We wholeheartedly hope that the wounded recover and those who are reported as missing appear,” said the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, during his usual morning conference this Monday.

The accident occurs at a time when the oil company needs to increase its investments to reverse a prolonged decline in its production, which fell from an average of 3.4 million barrels a day in 2004 to 1.7 million today.

In 2020, the company lost about $ 23 billion in what it called “the worst crisis in its history” in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the second quarter of this year, Pemex achieved a profit of 14,364 million pesos, (about 719 million dollars) due to an increase in domestic and foreign sales.

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