One worker has been killed and 29 are missing after a fire at an oil platform operated by the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (Socar) in the Caspian Sea.
A total of 63 people were working on the platform before the fire broke out at the Gunashli oil field.
After getting hit by waves during a heavy storm, a natural gas pipeline was damaged and part of the platform’s living quarters collapsed.
Socar said that rescue efforts have been hindered due to a severe storm, with firefighters still working to control the blaze.
Around 60% of the company’s oil production passes through the platform where the fire occurred. The incident is expected to temporarily hit the company’s output.
Socar suspended oil production on 28 oil wells connected to the facility and closed all pipelines that link the platform with the land as a safety precaution. It also stopped electricity supply to the platform.
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Azerbaijan Prosecutor General’s Office launched a criminal investigation into the possible violation of fire safety rules.
Gunashli offshore oil field is located 120km east of Baku, Azerbaijan, 12km south-east of Oil Rocks and is believed to have more than 100 million tonnes of oil reserves.
Before the incident took place, the platform produced 920t of oil and 1.08 million cubic metres of gas per day since operations began in 1984.