Things That Matter

Mexican Authorities Are Trying To Blame Mother Nature For That Massive Pit Of Fire In The Ocean

It’s the video that went viral around the world and now, just days later, Mexico’s national oil company (Pemex) says that a lightning storm caused the oceanic fireball. Millions of people have watched the video of a massive fire pit in the Gulf of Mexico, nearby an oil rig, with many saying it looked like the ‘gates of hell.’

Authorities admitted that there had been a gas leak and now they say that lightning struck nearby, igniting the gas leading to the now viral fire.

Mexico’s Pemex says that lightning ignited the fire in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.

Mexico’s nationally-owned oil company, Pemex, says that a combination of a gas leak and a lightning storm caused the shocking fireball in the middle of the Guld of Mexico over the weekend. According to authroities, the fire started early in the morning on Friday, just 300 feet from a nearby oil drilling platform, located in the Bay of Campeche.

Pemex quickly sent out fire control boats to fight back the flames, which took more than five ours to extinguish. Pemex said that there were no injuries since the oil platform was unoccupied at the time.

A leak in an underwater pipeline allowed natural gas to build up on the ocean floor and once it rose to the surface it was most likely ignited by a lightning bolt, the company said. The storm was so intense that operators had already shut off pumping stations serving the offshore rig before the accident.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg reposted a video clip of the fireball on her Twitter account. “The people in power call themselves ‘climate leaders’ as they open up new oilfields, pipelines and coal power plants — granting new oil licenses exploring future oil drilling sites … This is the world they are leaving for us,” she wrote.

Authorities also say that the fire didn’t cause any environmental damage.

In their latest statement about the blaze, Pemex has also stated that any environmental damage was avoided due to quick action by its workers.

“There was no oil spill and the immediate action taken to control the surface fire avoided environmental damage,” the company added.

Gusatvo Alanis, a board member with Mexico’s environmental law center CEMDA, told Reuters he thinks it is much too soon to conclude that the fire caused no environmental damage. Pemex should commit to preparing a “detailed study of the (environmental) impact caused by the fire” as well as a plan to repair the damage, according to a statement signed by more than two dozen environmental groups, including Greenpeace as well as CEMDA.

But the video is still being viewed by millions of people shocked that a fire could form in the middle of the sea.

It seemed like something that could only appear in a movie, sadly it was reality: The ocean was on fire. 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.

Even more frustrating, is that Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has vowed to move forward on exploiting additional oil and gas wells in the country – doubling down on the country’s reliance of fossil fuels.

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