MEXICO CITY – The Attorney General’s Office will investigate the fire that killed four workers and injured nine others on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said Thursday.
The fire broke out Wednesday on the Abkatun Permanente platform, located in the Sound of Campeche.
“Personnel from the Attorney General’s Office will have access once the specialists determine it (is safe) and they are the ones who will be responsible for conducting the investigation,” Pemex communications director Ignacio Duran told Imagen Radio.
The Security, Energy and Environment Agency, or ASEA, will determine the cause of the blaze before the AG’s office begins its probe, Duran said.
The fire started in the dehydration and pumping area of the Abkatun Permanente platform in the Sound of Campeche, off Mexico’s Tabasco and Campeche states.
Seven Pemex employees are being treated at the company hospital in Ciudad del Carmen, a city in southeast Mexico, and two other seriously injured workers were transported to Mexico City, Duran said.
The oil industry is “extremely dangerous,” Duran said, adding that it was unlikely that the fire was started by an outside party because the rig is 90 kilometers (about 56 miles) offshore.
Pemex officials will make changes to procedures based on the findings of ASEA and the AG’s office, Duran said.
Pemex “will not cut back on security” even though the 2015 budget is being slashed by 62 billion pesos ($4.08 billion) in response to the plunge in oil prices, Duran said.
Pemex CEO Emilio Lozoya said in a statement on Wednesday that the fire did not cause an oil spill and a leak that occurred was contained by special boats.
The fire will have a minimal impact on production because Abkatun Permanente is a processing platform and petroleum from nearby wells will be redirected to other processing platforms, Lozoya said.