Friday, 3 April 2015

Four confirmed fatalities following fire on Mexican oil platform.

Four people are confirmed to have died following a fire on the Abkatun Permanente Oil Platform in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday 1 April 2015. Between 16 and 45 further people are reported to have sustained injuries (accounts from different sources vary), with two people described as being in a serious condition. All three hundred personnel from the platform have been evacuated, and all production at the site has ceased. Three of the fatalities are understood to be employees of the Mexican state petroleum company, Pemex, who operate the platform, while the fourth has been confirmed to be an employee of oil services company Cotemar.

Fire burning on the Abkatun Permanente Oil Platform in the Campeche Sound on 1 April 2015.  Diario Campeche Hoy/AFP.

Whilst this is a serious incident, there is not thought to be any risk of an oil spill, as the Abkatun Platform is an oil processing facility, where oil from other platforms is transported for treatment through pipelines which can be cut off in the event of an incident, rather than a production platform, where there is a danger of oil continuing to escape from a damaged well-head. The platform is located in the Campeche Sound, to the north and northwest of Tabasco and Campeche States, and treats oil from the Abkatun-Pol-Chuc group of offshore oilfields. Since the platform does not directly produce any oil, Pemex are hoping to avoid a drop in production by re-routing oil through different processing facilities.

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