'Eye of Fire' — How The Ocean Started to Burn

Pemex said the fire started after its Ku Maloob Zaap oil facility was affected by an electrical storm and heavy rains.


NSFW    MEXICO CITY, MEXICO — Horrific images of the ocean itself on fire have been going viral worldwide. Here's how it happened:

Reuters reports that an underwater gas leak caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico at the Ku Maloob Zaap oil facility of Mexico's state oil company, Pemex.

The incident started at 5:15 on the morning of Friday 2 July, when a gas leak from an underwater pipeline suddenly ignited.

This resulted in the water next to a Pemex platform transforming into a raging fire.

Bright orange flames jumped out of the ocean, making it look more like molten lava than water.

The spectacle was dubbed an "eye of fire" on social media, due to the blaze's circular shape, as it raged a short distance from the oil platform.

The gas leak was from an underwater pipeline that connects to the platform.

Pemex said no injuries were reported, and production from the facility was not affected.

The fire was completely extinguished by 10:30 a.m., after company workers shut the valves of the 12-inch-wide pipeline and used nitrogen to control the fire.

Ku Maloob Zaap is Pemex's biggest crude oil production facility, accounting for more than 40% of its nearly 1.7 million barrels of daily output.

A Pemex incident report said the accident happened after the facility was affected by an electrical storm and heavy rains.

Production has been declining at Ku-Maloob-Zaap as the oil fields are maturing, and Pemex lacks the resources to invest in new extraction technologies.

Pemex has seen output fall every year for 15 years and has the largest debt of any big oil company, at almost 114 billion dollars.
'Eye of Fire' — How The Ocean Started to Burn

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