according to Associated PressOn Sunday night, a powerful explosion occurred in the Caspian Sea, near Azerbaijan, in an area known for intensive oil and natural gas extraction.
However, according to sources from the Azerbaijani national oil company, SOCAR, the explosion did not damage any of its platforms or equipment, indicating that preliminary analyzes indicated a mud volcano as the cause.
A SOCAR spokesman announced that the explosion occurred 10 kilometers from the Umid gas field, which in turn is located 75 kilometers from the coast of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
The Caspian Sea is known to have a high concentration of these types of volcanoes, which expel not only mud but also flammable gases, and this combination is suspected to have caused the fire plume seen in the images taken at the site.
Mark Tingay, an expert on mud volcanoes and associate professor at the University of Adelaide, Australia, points to this possibility, noting on Twitter that eruptions of this type occur relatively frequently in the region. Ignition is suspected to occur when a volcano expels rocks and causes sparks to come into contact with each other, igniting flammable gases.
However, it is feared that the cause of the explosion was a platform leak. If confirmed, it would be the second time in a week, after a fire in the Gulf of Mexico caused by a gas leak from a Pemex subsea pipeline. Photos of the event – where it is possible to see the strange group of boats putting out a fire in the middle of the ocean that took five hours to finish – went viral.