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Thirty Presumed Dead: Azeri Gas Wells Still Burning, Platform Fire Controlled

Guneshli Socar FireAfter nearly two weeks, emergency teams finally extinguished several oil well fires that were sparked by a deadly platform blaze in the Azerbaijani portion of the Caspian Sea.

A spokesman for state-owned SOCAR told the AFP that all the fires at the platform’s oil wells were extinguished as of Wednesday, but fires at the platform’s gas wells are still active.

Although gas wells at the Guneshli oil field platform are still burning, emergency crews managed to prevent a major oil spill, the news wire added.

The SOCAR operated platform, known as platform 10, caught fire on December 4 after a severe storm damaged a natural gas pipeline, causing a portion of the platform to collapse.

At least seven workers were killed and 23 more are missing and presumed dead after severe storms hampered rescue efforts, the AFP added.

Another 33 workers were rescued from the platform and pulled out of the water.

Last Friday, SOCAR officials visited the accident site and reported no signs of oil spills.

The copmany has sent one monitoring ship and six other vessels to the site to help prevent spills and conduct regular monitoring and research.

“In case of spills, the specially equipped ships have been made ready to collect oil spills and deliver [it] to the utilization stations,” SOCAR added.

SOCAR halted oil production at the 28 wells linked to the platform and stopped flows through the facility’s oil and gas pipelines as a precautionary measure.

The company has not disclosed a timeline for repairing or restarting the platform.

Earlier this month, SOCAR asked countries whose territory borders the Caspian Sea to aid in the search and recovery effort.

Platform 10 produces about 6,000 barrels of oil per day and serves as a hub for other SOCAR oil fields.

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