Paris-based independent Perenco is investigating the cause of an incident earlier this week that saw a fire break out at a shallow-water platform offshore Congo-Brazzaville.

While nobody was hurt in the 15 February incident and there was “no material” damage to offshore facilities, the privately-owned player said oil was spilled.

The fire was caused after an escape of hydrocarbons from a dedicated flare platform at the Emeraude oil and gas field ignited.

“At approximately 11am, an escape of hydrocarbons occurred from the flare of the PCP platform on the Emeraude field,” said Perenco in a statement emailed to Upstream.

The operator said the PCP platform “is located at the end of a long, isolated walkway”, which ensured that the “flaming fluids” were kept away from Emeraude’s main processing platform.

Three oil slicks, each covering an area of about 50 square metres formed on the sea and these caught fire, said Perenco, adding that the blaze was “quickly brought under control.”

“No one was hurt in the incident and there was no material damage,” according to the company, adding that “our teams were immediately deployed to treat the small residue of hydrocarbons remaining on the surface of the water.”

Perenco noted that “investigations are underway to understand the reasons for this technical incident.”

Thierry Moungalla, Congo-Brazzaville's Minister of Communications, said on Twitter account that: "We are aware of the situation," and confirmed the details.

The company has been operating Emeraude for 21 years, in a partnership with state-owned SNPC.

The field lies in about 60 metres of water, off the main oil hub of Pointe Noire.

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