Mexico's state-owned oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), said Friday an underwater pipeline connecting an offshore platform at the Ku Maloob Zaap oil development experienced a fracture, shooting flames out of the water.
The video of the incident is absolutely stunning and resembles almost a lava pit, but that's just flames boiling to the surface in the Gulf waters.
🚨 Sobre el incendio registrado en aguas del Golfo de México, en la Sonda de Campeche, a unos metros de la plataforma Ku-Charly (dentro del Activo Integral de Producción Ku Maloob Zaap)— Manuel Lopez San Martin (@MLopezSanMartin) July 2, 2021
Tres barcos han apoyado para sofocar las llamas pic.twitter.com/thIOl8PLQo
Pemex dispatched multiple support vessels that were able to pump water over the flames. It took about five hours for the oil company to contain the gas leak, reportedly 150 meters from the drilling platform.
Ku-Maloob-Zaap is the most productive oil field in Mexico, accounting for 40% of its 1.68 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production. Sources told Reuters, the development was producing 726,000 bpd at the time of the incident.
The source also shared an incident report of what may have caused the fire:
"The turbomachinery of Ku Maloob Zaap's active production facilities were affected by an electrical storm and heavy rains," the report said.
While the support vessels were spraying water on the roiling balls of flame erupting underwater, nitrogen was ultimately used to contain the pipeline leak.