Large oil spill spotted near site of Pemex natural gas platform explosion in Gulf of Mexico

Amy Stillman, Bloomberg July 18, 2023

(Bloomberg) – A large oil spill has been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico near the site of a deadly explosion at a Petroleos Mexicanos natural gas platform, according to Mexican newspaper Reforma.

A scientist working with environmental groups including Greenpeace detected the leak on July 4, days before the blast off the coast of Mexico’s Campeche, Reforma said. The spill was about 400 square kilometers (154 square miles) earlier this month and may have grown to about two-thirds the size of Mexico City, according to the report.

A Pemex representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The spill might not be connected to the blast earlier this month, but it’s much larger than a typical platform leak, said Itziar Irakulis-Loitxate, a lead researcher on a study from the Polytechnic University of Valencia that last year uncovered two large methane leaks from a Pemex offshore platform.

Since the spill started before the gas platform fire in early July, “I would tend to think that these are two unfortunate incidents that have coincided on similar dates but do not have to be related,” she said in an interview. “But it is true that this particular leak is, by far, much bigger and it is lasting much longer than normal, which is undoubtedly very worrying.”

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