The fireball could be seen shoreside in Azerbaijan, with video footage taken from there showing the scale of the blast.
The apparent explosion occurred in the offshore Umid gas field, the second-largest natural gas field in Azerbaijan. Amid rumors of a drilling platform or gas line catching fire, an official with the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) announced that “there have been no accidents on offshore platforms and industrial facilities under the direct control of SOCAR.”
Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Ecology said that the incident is being investigated, and that the preliminary cause is likely a volcanic eruption at sea, Sputnik Azerbaijan reported.
Details remain thin on the ground, and it is unclear if anyone was injured in the blast. The State Maritime Administration, meanwhile, has instructed ships to steer clear of the fire.
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