Gulf of Mexico Ocean on Fire After Pipeline Rupture Video Watched 20M Times

Video of part of the ocean in flames in the Gulf of Mexico has now been viewed more than 20 million times after a leak from a gas pipeline caused a fire off the Yucatan peninsula.

Mexican state oil company Pemex (Petroleos Mexicanos) said that a gas leak from an underwater pipeline had caused the fire early on Friday morning. The blaze featured bright orange flames in a circular shape, leading some on social media to dub it "the eye of fire."

A video posted to Twitter showing the fire had been viewed more than 22 million times on Saturday morning. It showed the "eye" burning near a Pemex oil platform to the west of the country's Yucatan peninsula.

The footage was shared by Manuel Lopez San Martin, a journalist with Mexico City TV station adn40.

Writing in Spanish, Martin explained the situation and said the fire was "out of control" some eight hours before the tweet.

Many social media users expressed shock at video and images of the fire in the ocean.

The incident involved an underwater pipeline connecting the seaborn platform to Pemex's cluster of oil fields at Ku-Maloob-Zaap.

Ku-Maloob-Zaap is the company's most important oil development and it is located near the southern rim of the Gulf of Mexico. The platform in question is a satellite of the oil Ku-Maloob-Zaap.

🚨 Incendio registrado en aguas del Golfo de México

A 400 metros de la plataforma Ku-Charly (dentro del Activo Integral de Producción Ku Maloob Zaap)

Una válvula de una línea submarina habría reventado y provocado el incendio

Esta fuera de control hace 8 horas

— Manuel Lopez San Martin (@MLopezSanMartin) July 2, 2021

"The turbomachinery of Ku-Maloob-Zaap's active production facilities were affected by an electrical storm and heavy rains," said a Pemex incident report seen by Reuters.

No injuries were reported from the incident which began at around 5.15 am local time (6.15 am EDT) on Friday. The fire was fully extinguished by around 10.30 am local time (11.30 am EDT).

The company said that interconnection valves were closed in order to control the gas leak and bring the fire under control. Firefighting vessels were also brought in to extinguish it.

Pemex has said it will launch an investigation into the leak.

Ku-Maloob-Zaap produces over 700,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, according to Energy Voice. This amounts to 40 percent of Pemex's total output of around 1.7 million barrels per day.

Pemex is one of the largest petroleum companies in the world and also has the largest debt of any major oil company - for a total of around $114 billion - and it has a history of industrial accidents.

In 2019, 137 people were killed as a result of a pipeline explosion in the town of Tlahuelilpan in Mexico's Hidalgo state.

The incident was the country's deadliest pipeline explosion and was the result of a botched gas heist.

Newsweek has asked Pemex for comment.

Pemex Logo Pictured in Mexico City
Picture of the logo of Mexico's state oil company Pemex, taken at a gas station in Mexico City on April 20, 2020 during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. A Pemex pipeline leak caused a fire in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday. ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images