Fire caused no environment harm: Oil firm

·1-min read

Just days after video of a massive ocean surface blaze near an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico went viral, Mexico's national oil company has declared environmental damage was avoided due to quick action by its workers.

The July 2 blaze, caught on video apparently from a nearby helicopter, showed bright orange flames jumping out of the water as the fire raged a short distance from the oil platform.

Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has previously said it took more than five hours to fully extinguish the fire.

"There was no oil spill and the immediate action taken to control the surface fire avoided environmental damage," the company said in a statement on Monday.

The statement added the blaze was sparked by an electric storm that ignited a leak of gas from a broken underwater pipeline.

The fire ignited a storm of protest, including social media posts from climate activist Greta Thunberg, among many others, and criticism from Greenpeace Mexico.

The fire took place at the top producing offshore oilfield operated by Pemex, which has a long track record of major industrial accidents at its facilities.

The state-run company reiterated it will further investigate the cause of the pipeline gas leak.

Gusatvo Alanis, a board member with Mexico's environmental law center CEMDA, told Reuters it is much too soon to conclude the fire caused no environmental damage.

Pemex should commit to preparing an "detailed study of the (environmental) impact caused by the fire" as well as a plan to repair the damage, according to a statement issued earlier on Monday and signed by more than two dozen environmental groups, including Greenpeace and CEMDA.

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