At Least Five Dead in Mexican Offshore Platform Fire

A fire on an offshore platform operated by Mexican oil and gas giant Pemex has left at least five people dead, two missing and six injured, the state-run company said Monday.The blaze led to the suspension of work at more than 100 oil wells that rely on the platform for electricity and injections of natural gas, Pemex said.The accident occurred Sunday in the Bay of Campeche in the southern Gulf of Mexico during maintenance work.One of the injured was in serious condition, Pemex chief Octavio Romero told a news conference.”The exhaustive search for the missing persons continues,” he said.The fire put 125 oil wells out of action, resulting in a production loss of 425,000 barrels a day, but they were expected to be restarted by Tuesday, Romero said.The company has been trying to arrest a steady decline in its oil production, which fell from an average of 3.4 million barrels a day in 2004 to 1.7 million bpd in 2020.Pemex said it had launched an investigation into the blaze, which it said was brought under control after an hour.Pemex is battling back from what it called the worst crisis in its history last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.The group lost about $23 billion in 2020 due to a slump in demand for energy that caused oil prices to briefly turn negative for the first time.A recovery in prices helped it make a profit of about $720 million in the second quarter of 2021.

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