A gas leak off the coast of Mexico from an underwater pipeline sparked a fire on the surface of the water.
Videos showed bright orange flames raging on the sea just meters from a state-owned oil drilling platform west of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula around dawn Friday.
The blaze was dubbed an ‘eye of fire’ on social media due to its circular shape, while several boats were seen rushing to douse the flames.
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Mexico’s state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, known as Pemex, later confirmed the fire had been put out, blaming a rupture in one of its underwater pipelines.
Reuters reported the fire began in an undersea gas pipeline that connects to a drilling platform at Pemex’s flagship Ku Maloob Zaap offshore oil development field, located just up from the southern rim of the Gulf of Mexico.
The gas leak ignited a fire 150 meters from the platform around 5:15am, forcing the company to shut the valves of the 12-inch-diameter pipeline.
Pemex said it dispatched fire control boats to pump water over the flames while sources also said workers had used nitrogen to battle the blaze.
At least three boats were seen surrounding the circle of fire and dousing it in water in aerial footage of the incident.
The blaze was extinguished and the gas leak brought under control about five hours later and normal operations restored, Pemex said.
The oil company said the incident resulted in no injuries and that its production had not been affected due to the time of the leak.
The cause of the incident will be investigated, it said.
Ku Maloob Zaap is Pemex’s biggest crude oil producer, accounting for more than 700,000 barrels or more than 40 percent of its nearly 1.7 million barrels of daily output.