Pemex Cantarell fire injures three

Mexico's state-run oil company Pemex said over the weekend a fire on an offshore platform at its Cantarell field injured three people but has been "totally controlled."

In a post on its Twitter page, Pemex said the fire occurred on the Akal TD platform, part of the sprawling Cantarell shallow water oilfield located along the southern rim of the Gulf of Mexico, Reuters reported.

The platform's 42 workers have been evacuated as a preventative measure, the company said in a statement.

But production has not been affected, a company spokesperson added.

Akal is the most productive field within Cantarell, but output last year declined by 90% compared to peak production of 2.04 million barrels per day in 2004.

Cantarell was the world's third-biggest oil deposit when it was discovered in the mid-1970s.

The news came of the fire came as it was also revealed over the weekend that the company had submitted a list of the oil and gas fields it wants to keep under a landmark energy overhaul to the energy ministry but declined to make the list public.

Under the energy reform passed in December, Pemex had until 21 March to turn in the list of fields it would like to maintain as part of the so-called Round Zero allocation, Reuters reported.

The energy ministry has until mid-September to determine if Pemex has the technical and financial capacity to develop the fields it wants, but has yet to detail the specific criteria it will use.

Prior to the reform, Pemex was the only company legally permitted to produce hydrocarbons in Mexico, the world's tenth largest crude producer.

"Everything will be up to the energy ministry," a Pemex spokesperson told Reuters when asked if the list would be made public soon. "The ball is in their court."

An energy ministry press officer did not respond to calls or emails seeking comment.

"The fact that Pemex didn't reveal (the list) speaks badly about the practices of this government in terms of transparency and it's a very bad precedent for what comes next with the reform," Miriam Grunstein, an energy specialist with Mexico City-based research institute CIDE, told Reuters

In a statement, Pemex said it had submitted the list of fields along with development plans that include descriptions of projected investments, but did not provide specifics.

Pemex chief executive Emilio Lozoya said last month the company would seek to keep the vast majority of its explored oil and gas fields via the Round Zero, in addition to all areas now in production without going into further detail.

But, he said Pemex would not seek to keep all of its deep water Gulf of Mexico acreage, where Mexico is believed to have nearly 30 billion barrels of potential oil equivalent.

The outcome of Round Zero will be crucial in determining the onshore and offshore acreage available to bid on by oil majors in international public tenders, expected by the summer of 2015.

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