Firefighting Continues at Caspian Platform
Footage posted on YouTube on Monday shows several offshore vessels fighting the fire on the Gunashli 10 platform in the Caspian Sea. The fire broke out on Friday, and the bodies of six people have now been recovered, according to the Azeri ministry for emergency situations. This leaves 23 workers unaccounted for.
The platform is operated by Azeri state energy company SOCAR, and SOCAR announced over the weekend that one worker was killed, 29 missing and 33 rescued. Those still missing are feared dead.
The fire started after a storm caused a partial collapse of one of the facilities on the platform, damaging a natural gas pipeline.
The Azerbaijani government has announced a commission to coordinate rescue efforts and head an investigation into the cause of the accident. The committee will be headed by Prime Minister Artur Rasizade.
Additionally, three workers are missing after an accident at another SOCAR offshore oil platform approximately 30 kilometers away. SOCAR said a small cabin, where workers were living, was washed into the sea from the platform during a heavy storm. The area reportedly experienced waves over eight meters high.
About 60 percent of SOCAR's oil production passes through this platform, meaning the state company's output will be temporarily hit. Daily production at the platform was 920 tons of oil and 1.08 million cubic meters of gas.
BP said on Monday that its operations in Azerbaijan were not affected by the fire. BP operates the main oil fields in Azerbaijan, and the bulk of total oil production in the country comes from these fields.