The fire broke out at the end of last week following a powerful storm. The “eye of fire” has since been extinguished, however, according to reports. The footage below shows some dramatic images of the ocean burning just meters away from a Pemex oil rig.
You can see the first responders spraying what appears to be water at the fire. They are attempting to keep the flames from spreading.
Fortunately, no one was hurt during the ordeal. But the fire came from a pipeline that feeds Pemex’s most productive oil development, Ku Maloob Zaap.
Apparently, there was no disruption to the company’s oil production. Pemex claims that there is no spillage to speak of, however. That raises the question, why exactly is the ocean on fire?
A Reuter’s source claimed that “the turbomachinery of Ku Maloob Zaap’s active production facilities were affected by an electrical storm and heavy rains.”
Pemex is a state-run company that provides the overwhelming majority of Mexico’s oil. They have a long track record of mishaps when it comes to large-scale production. And for those wondering, fighting an oil fire on the surface of the ocean is easier said than done.
Water is essentially useless when it comes to extinguishing an oil blaze. The best it can do is keep the fire contained in a given area. But even then, something like nitrogen is what really gets the jobs done. It restricts the amount of oxygen the fire can access.
According to Reuter’s sources, nitrogen is exactly what the crews used to put the “eye of fire” out.
The Internet Reacts to A Burning Gulf of Mexico
The footage, as with any large-scale industrial disaster, is pretty shocking to behold. However, no one was hurt in this specific incident. So, of course, Twitter used the opportunity to weigh in on the Pemex fire and have some fun at the company’s expense.
“Everyone knows you cover it with the lid. You never put water on an ocean fire,” one Twitter user wrote.
It’s far from the first time Pemex has had issues with leaks. In fact, from 2016 to 2019, there were a reported 4,509 fuel spills from Pemex pipelines that the company never attempted to clean up. Why? Well, apparently they are not liable for any damage caused by illegal activity.
That means whenever someone decides to tap into a pipeline without permission, leaving an oil spill in their wake, the company doesn’t have to do anything about cleaning it up. For reference, there were more than 14,000 illegal taps in 2018.