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Production at Pemex KMZ complex halted for 'few days' after fire: CEO


Production at 125 wells affected by fire at platform

Impact on production estimated at 421,000 b/d

Some wells expected to resume production Aug. 23

Production from 125 wells at Pemex's shallow-water Gulf of Mexico Ku-Maloob-Zaap complex has been halted for a "few days" because of a fire on a platform, impacting crude oil production of 421,000 b/d, Octavio Romero Oropeza, the CEO of the Mexican state company, said Aug. 23.

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"The fire happened at one of the compression and power generation facilities," Romero Oropeza said at a press conference. Power is generated at the platform, which pumps natural gas into the wells for crude production.

Pemex expects some of the 125 shuttered wells to resume production Aug. 23 and Aug. 24, with all to be operating normally in a few days, Romero Oropeza said.

Pemex has 207 producing wells at KMZ, which produced 784,300 b/d in 2020, or 46.5% of the company's total output, according to a Pemex report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Romero Oropeza highlighted that the fire was an accident, with equipment failure and a lack of maintenance were ruled out as probable causes. Pemex since 2019, with the start of the presidential administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has spent $640 million to make critical repairs to its infrastructure, he added.

The number of people reported dead from the KMZ incident had risen to five -- a Pemex employee and four employees of a private contractor, Romero Oropeza said. Two workers employed by the private contractor are still reported missing.