At least five people have been killed and six injured in a fire at an offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
Rescue workers are still searching for two people who are missing.
The fire erupted on the E-Ku-A2 platform, part of a gas-processing center of the Ku-Maloob-Zaap complex in the Gulf of Mexico’s Bay of Campeche. It was owned by Mexico’s state-run Pemex.
The fire caused work to be halted at 125 oil wells for which the platform provides gas and electricity, and cut the company’s production by 444,000 barrels per day (bpd) due to the lack of natural gas to re-inject into crude fields.
“It was not a good weekend,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said, referring to deaths due to the platform accident and hurricane Grace.
The company’s chief executive, Octavio Romero, denied that a lack of investment was to blame for the incidents.
“There is not a problem of lack of resources. The oil industry is a risky industry. We have had accidents, which in numbers are less than in previous years,” he said at a news conference
He added that this most recent fire had broken out as crews were performing maintenance work on the oil platform.
Two sources familiar with Pemex’s operations said the fire affected the operational side of the platform, forcing the company to completely shut the gas supply and distribution to neighboring offshore oil fields.
Pemex said that the affected platform’s gas valves had been shut to extinguish the fire, while an emergency plan was put in place to search for the missing people, all of them contract workers.
Pemex said production at Ku-Maloob-Zaap would resume by Wednesday.