Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico threatens Yucatán coast

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Several Pemex ships raced to the scene of the explosion at the Nohoch-A Pemex platform in an effort to limit the damage and rescue its crew. Photo: Courtesy

At least two people were killed and eight were injured in another explosion at a Pemex platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

The platform, Nohoch-A, is off the coast of Campeche 50 miles from the City of Ciudad del Carmen. 

The amount of crude oil leaked into the ocean is reportedly in the thousands of barrels. 

Environmentalists warn that such a spill is likely to do a great deal of damage to ocean life, but that given the lack of precise information from Pemex, forecasting its exact effects on land and sea is nearly impossible. 

All other Pemex platforms in the area suspended operations as a cautionary measure but are said to have now returned to work. 

In a recent morning press conference, President Lopéz Obrador blamed previous administrations for the condition of Pemex, saying that his government inherited an organization in shambles and on the verge of bankruptcy. 

However, the government has on several occasions appointed politicians with long documented histories of corruption to highly coveted positions at state-owned companies, including Pemex and the CFE

This is far from the first time such accidents have occurred at Pemex stations in the Gulf. in 2021 Witnesses aboard the Ku-c platform operated by Pemex described the blaze that followed a massive explosion in the ocean as resembling “an eye of fire.”

Earlier: García Ginerés residents preparing massive blockade to protest power outages

Accidents in and around Pemex platforms are commonplace and have actually increased by 9.5% in 2021, according to Staff Oil & Gas Magazine

In April 2015, an explosion at Pemex’s Abkatún A platform killed seven people and injured another 45. This was despite the fact that the company had previously been warned of a dangerous rise in gas pressure on the platform.

Pemex’s critics charge that the severity and frequency of these accidents are due to negligence and the replacement of a specialized workforce with contractors with little to no experience. 

The scientist Guillermo Tamburini Beliveau was quoted by Bloomberg as warning Pemex of a dangerous leak three days before the most recent blast, but his concerns were dismissed. 

“Insisting that these types of accidents ‘just happen’ and are a cost of doing business puts us all in an extremely precarious position,” said Gustavo Ampugnani, director of Greenpeace Mexico.

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy, and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.
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