Monday, 5 July 2021

Ruptured gas pipeline leads to fountain of fire in the Gulf of Mexico.

A fire broke out on the sea surface in the Gulf of Mexico, after a natural gas pipeline ruptured on Friday 2 July 2021. The pipeline, which connected the KU-C satellite platform on the Ku Maloob Zaap Oil Field, ruptured some time before 5.15 am local time, when the leaking gas ignited, with the fire being brought completely under control by 10.30 am. Although dramatic, nobody was hurt during the incident. It is unclear at this time how the pipeline was damaged, or how the leaking gas was subsequently ignited.

A fire on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico on 2 July 2021, caused by a ruptured natural gas pipeline. Manuel López San Martín/Twitter.

The Ku Maloob Zaap oil field is worked by the Mexican state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), in the Bay of Campeche, off the coast of Tabasco State, on the Yucatan Peninsula. The oil field is actually made up of three separate reserves, the Ku reserve, located in Kimmeridgian (Late Jurassic) deposits, the Maloob, which is in Late Cretaceous-Palaeocene strata, and the Eocene Zaap reserve. The field is worked by seventeen drilling platforms connected by 166 km of pipeline. The field has been worked since the early 1980s, with peak production reached in 2009, when the field was producing more than 130 million litres of oil and over three billion litres of natural gas per day, with production having declined steadily since that time.

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