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Azerbaijan says Caspian gas platforms safe amid reports of fire

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By Reuters
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BAKU – Azerbaijan’s state energy company, SOCAR, said on Sunday its offshore gas platforms in the Caspian Sea were safe after media reports of a large fire in the area.

Videos and photos published online showed smoke rising above the sea off the coast. Russia’s RIA news agency cited SOCAR as saying that an eruption of mud was the most likely reason for that, although it did not explain how it could cause a fire.

“No incidents have happened at the offshore fields and industrial structures controlled by SOCAR, work continues normally,” SOCAR spokesman Ibrahim Akhmedov said.

Azerbaijan’s Oil Workers’ Rights Protection Committee said fire had broken out at the Umid gas field at an old exploration site. SOCAR denied this.

Offshore fields are the main source of Azeri gas output, the bulk of which the former Soviet republic exports to Europe.

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