Flames rise from Gulf of Mexico after gas pipeline ruptures

Biodiversity campaigner calls for end to offshore drilling following latest incident

A fire on the ocean surface off Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula has been extinguished, oil company Pemex has said, blaming a gas leak from an underwater pipeline for sparking the blaze captured in dramatic videos that went viral. Video: Reuters


A rupture in an undersea gas pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico has sent flames boiling to the surface of the sea.

Mexico’s state-owned oil firm, Petroleos Mexicanos, said it had dispatched fire control boats to pump more water over the flames.

Pemex, as the company is known, said no-one was injured in the incident in the offshore Ku-Maloob-Zaap field.

The leak near dawn on Friday occurred about 150 yards from a drilling platform. The company said it had brought the gas leak under control about five hours later.

But the accident gave rise to the strange sight of balls of flame boiling up from below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

It is unclear how much environmental damage was caused by the gas leak and oceanic fireball.

Miyoko Sakashita, oceans programme director for the Center for Biological Diversity, wrote: “The frightening footage of the Gulf of Mexico is showing the world that offshore drilling is dirty and dangerous.”

Ms Sakashita added: “These horrific accidents will continue to harm the Gulf if we don’t end offshore drilling once and for all.”