Large oil spill reported near site of Pemex platform blast in Gulf of Mexico

A large oil spill has been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico near the site of a recent fatal explosion at a Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) natural gas platform, according to a report released by Greenpeace and other groups, reports Bloomberg.

A leak was detected by scientist Guillermo Tamburini Beliveau on July 4th, days before the blast off the coast of Mexico’s Campeche, claimed Greenpeace and others in a statement to the press. The spill was about 400km/sq earlier this month and might have grown to about two-thirds the size of Mexico City, Tamburini said in a presentation that included satellite imagery of the leak.

Tamburini said in the presentation that the spill “could be considerably larger” and that it required more investigation.

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.

Since the spill started before the gas platform fire, “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.”