Fire, oil leak reported at Pemex offshore oil rig

Petroleos Mexicanos reported its third platform fire in three months as troubles at Mexico’s state-run oil operator mount prior to the opening of the country’s energy industry to private competition.

Pemex, as the world’s ninth-largest crude producer is known, reported a fire today at its Akal-H platform in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the company’s official Twitter account. Leaking natural gas and oil have been detected at the platform, the company said.

The accident is under control and three other workers involved were uninjured, the company said in an e-mailed statement.

The accident at the Akal-H platform is Pemex’s third since April 1, when seven people died in a fire at the Abkatun A- Permanente platform. Two other workers died last month when a jack-up rig operated by Typhoon Offshore SAPI de CV collapsed in the Campeche Bay. Pemex signed a contract with Industrias Metalicas de Tris SA for 12.2 million pesos ($795,000) in 2007 to upgrade the security system on the Akal-H platform.

Pemex, which has seen production decline every year for a decade, is looking to bring in private partners as Mexico’s energy industry opens to allow competition for the first time in more than seven decades. The company reported a loss of $6.5 billion in the first quarter amid falling oil prices.

The company halted production at the Akal-H platform. Its other wells in the area are operating normally, according to a press official who cannot be named due to company policy.

–With assistance from Carlos Manuel Rodriguez in Mexico City.

To contact the reporters on this story: Adam Williams in Mexico City at; Andrea Navarro in Mexico City at To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Attwood at Will Wade