A fire on the ocean surface west of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula on Friday has been extinguished, state oil company Pemex said. It blamed a gas leak from an underwater pipeline for sparking the blaze captured in videos that went viral.
Bright orange flames jumping out of water resembling molten lava was dubbed an “eye of fire” on social media due to the blaze’s circular shape, as it raged a short distance from a Pemex oil platform.
The fire took more than five hours to fully put out, according to Pemex.
The fire began in an underwater pipeline. It connects to a platform at Pemex’s flagship Ku Maloob Zaap oil development, the company’s most important, said Reuters.
Ku Maloob Zaap is located just up from the southern rim of the Gulf of Mexico.
Th efire cused no injuries. Meanwhile, production from the project was not affected after the gas leak ignited around 5:15 a.m. local time. It was completely extinguished by 10:30 a.m.
Watch the ‘Eye of Fire’
Pemex to investigate the cause of the fire
Pemex, which has a long record of major industrial accidents at its facilities. Meanwhile, the company also shut the valves of the 12-inch-diameter pipeline.
Angel Carrizales, head of Mexico’s oil safety regulator ASEA, wrote on Twitter the incident “did not generate any spill.” He did not explain what was burning on the water’s surface.
Ku Maloob Zaap is Pemex’s biggest crude oil producer. Zaap accounts for more than 40% of its nearly 1.7 million barrels of daily output.
An electrical storm and heavy rains affected the turbomachinery of Ku Maloob Zaap’s active production facilities Company workers used nitrogen to control the fire, the report added.
Meanwhile, Pemex’s brief press statement did not mention details from the incident. However, the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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