Exclusive-Mexican Pemex crude output reduced by 20,000 bpd after platform fire, source says

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By Ana Isabel Martinez

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican Pemex production is down some 20,000 barrels per day following a fire at an offshore platform on Saturday that left several injured and at least one dead, a source at the state energy company said.

While the reduction amounts to a 1% decrease, a prolonged outage would further dent already falling crude oil production that hit its lowest level in 45 years in February.

The Akal-B platform in the Gulf of Mexico was still out of service on Tuesday as workers sought to restore operations, the source told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

Pemex did not respond to a request for comment.

The company has not provided updates on the fire since Sunday, when it reported that it was carrying out an inspection and evaluating the causes of the fire “to reestablish operations at the processing center.”

Pemex puts its current production of oil and condensate at 1.8 million bpd, of which 1.5 million is crude oil, the lowest level in 45 years.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) is pictured at the company's headquarters in Mexico City, Mexico July 26, 2023. REUTERS/Raquel Cunha/File Photo

Local media reported that a second worker died as a result of the fire. Reuters was not able to confirm the second death. Pemex had reported the first death, from a contractor, COTER.

In recent years, the oil company has recorded several fatal accidents at its offshore facilities, which some experts attribute to a lack of investment in key maintenance. Pemex has repeatedly denied this.