Pemex evacuates personnel as Jupiter Flotel sinks in the Gulf of Mexico

By Phaedra Friend Troy

State-run Pemex has evacuated staff from the Jupiter Flotel, a semisubmersible living quarters platform located in the Mexican waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The Jupiter Flotel began listing heavily and is now sinking.

 

At a little past 7:30 on the morning of April 12, an incident occurred with the valve that controls the floating pontoon of the semisubmersible, which is owned by Cotemar SA, a Pemex contractor. 

 

As an emergency precaution, 638 Pemex employees and contractors, the majority of the personnel aboard the flotel, were evacuated to the nearby Abkatun-A facility. Another 75 essential personnel remained on the Jupiter to attend to the emergency situation. 

 

 

 

Measures to correct the problem were insufficient, and all personnel were eventually evacuated from the Jupiter. 

 

 

 

Divers were engaged to help with the problem, but falling equipment from the deck of the facility prevented their efforts, and those personnel have been pulled from the water, as well. 

 

No one has been injured, and the entire staff is safe.

 

Despite efforts to save the platform, the Jupiter has begun to sink. With the water depth at 50 meters and the height of the semisub at 38 meters, the platform is expected to sink 13 meters below the water’s surface. 

 

Four ships with heavy-lift cranes and seven barges have been mobilized to the site. 

 

Pemex is currently analyzing solutions to recover the platform and equipment, and investigations have begun into the cause of the accident.

 

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