Environmentalists and international agencies expressed concern over Pemex’s most recent accident in the Gulf of Mexico.
The accident is said to have been caused by a faulty duct that released and ignited highly combustible gas into the water. The extent of the environmental damage caused by the accident is unknown.
Witnesses aboard the Ku-c platform operated by Pemex described the fire burning in the ocean as resembling “an eye of fire.”
The blaze was reportedly extinguished five hours after it first ignited. But critics of Pemex say that several questions are still unanswered.
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 7 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.
Critics of Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, argue that he has not done enough to invest in renewable energy sources and places too great an emphasis on propping up Mexico’s state-owned energy giants.
“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.