• Accident News For Roughnecks

    Investigators See Signs Of Gas Escape And Missed Warnings In Deadly Rig Explosion

    An accident that killed five workers at an Oklahoma drilling site earlier this year may have started after natural gas escaped from the well and safety equipment failed to prevent an explosion and fire that burned for hours, federal investigators said Thursday.

    Wreckage of the PattersonUTI Drilling rig after a deadly January 2018 explosion and fire.New findings from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board suggest the accident occurred after workers removed pipe from the well. More than 100 barrels of drilling fluid was pushed into the drilling site’s mud pits before the blowout, investigators said, far above levels that should have triggered alarms — and a strong indicator natural gas was flowing into the wellbore.

    Lead investigator Lauren Grim said the agency is examining the blowout preventer, a last-chance device used to shut down an uncontrollable well.

    “We are analyzing the data and testing the equipment to identify why the blowout preventer did not function,” she said.

    Investigators are also scrutinizing other equipment and crew experience, training and communication to see if proper procedures were followed and if workers missed any warning signs before the explosion and fire.


    CSB Releases Factual Update on Blowout and Fire at Pryor Trust Gas Well in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma

    Today the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a factual update into its ongoing investigation of the January 22, 2018, blowout and fire at the Pryor Trust Gas Well located in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, that killed five workers.   

    Patterson UTI Quinton Oklahoma BlowoutThe CSB has determined the incident occurred shortly after drilling crew members removed the drill pipe from the well in a process known as “tripping.” To date, the CSB’s investigation has determined the following timeline related to the blowout and fire:  

    • January 21, 2018: Crew members from the Patterson-UTI Drilling Company had been drilling a gas well for over a week. Activities were being overseen by the operator of the well, Red Mountain Operating, LLC (or RMO) in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma. 

    • At 3:36 pm, the Patterson crew stopped drilling to remove the drill pipe from the well and change the drill bit.  

    • At 6:48 pm, crew members began the process of removing the drill pipe from the well. The Patterson crew pumped mud into the well during the removal of the drill pipe with the intent to keep the well full of mud. That operation involved closing an isolation valve to prevent mud from flowing out of the well.  By 10:30 pm, the end of the drill pipe reached the top of the curve in the well.


    Bank of the West to drop fossil fuel business, drawing angry response in Wyoming

    Bank of the West, which has about two dozen branches in Wyoming, is suspending business with many fossil fuel developers, the company announced recently.

    A drilling rig for Wold Energy Partners operates outside of Rolling Hills on Oct. 4. Bank of the West recently announced it will no longer do business with fossil fuel developers.The San Francisco-based firm will continue to work with oil, coal and gas companies, but only if they show an active commitment to transitioning to greener energy, according to a company statement. Those engaged in drilling shale oil or gas, mining coal or burning coal in power plants are out of luck.

    Sen. John Barrasso slammed the bank for being anti-fossil fuel in a Wednesday letter to CEO Nandita Bakhshi.

    “Simply put, fossil fuels are essential to the livelihood of people in my home state, including those served by the dedicated employees at your 23 Wyoming branches,” he said. “It is a serious mistake to pick winners and losers in energy markets, especially to the detriment of your own customers.”


    Henderson to perform major rig refurbishment for Energy Drilling Company

    Henderson, a leader in the sales and service of drilling rigs and capital drilling equipment, has entered into a contract for a major drilling rig refurbishment with Energy Drilling Company.

    Rig to be refurbished. ImageHenderson.The contract includes the purchase and upgrade of a 2,000 HP drilling rig, an A/C top drive, three 1600 hp x 7,500-psi mud pumps, a walking system, 30-ft box-on-box substructure and a 1-million-lb derrick. It will be the first major rig refurbishment completed at Henderson’s new service center and rig yard in Houston, Texas.

    James Lank, president and COO, Henderson, said, “The addition of this high-spec rig to Energy Drilling Company’s fleet showcases Henderson’s expertise in sourcing and upgrading drilling rigs and equipment. With new rig-up facilities now established in Houston and Odessa, Henderson is uniquely positioned to support the resurgent drilling market in North America. We’ve built a great project team in our growing rig services division, who will work closely with Energy Drilling Company to offer comprehensive support and services.”


    Ohio Coroner Investigates Oil Worker’s Death

    The Coshocton County Coroner’s Office is looking into the cause of death of a Noble County man who was found unresponsive at an oil well site Monday afternoon near Newcomerstown.

    The Coshocton County Coroner’s Office is looking into the cause of death of a Noble County man who was found unresponsive at an oil well site Monday afternoon near NewcomerstownDeputies were called to 6075 State Route 36 SW in Oxford Township at 6:22 p.m. Witnesses reported that Travis Burch, 36, of Dexter City, Ohio, walked behind an oil rig he was working at, and came back to the front stumbling. Burch then collapsed and was unresponsive.

    EMTs were called to the scene. They found that Burch had little to no pulse. He was then transported to Coshocton Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

    Written statements were taken from all of his co-workers who were present.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been called to investigate, but Sheriff Orvis Campbell said there were no obvious signs that it was an industrial accident. Foul play is not suspected.

    Source: Times Reporter


    15 Oilfield Workers 3 Crew Killed In Helicopter Crash

    All 18 people aboard an Mi-8 helicopter carrying oil workers in Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region died on Saturday when the aircraft crashed, Russian authorities reported.

    Russian Helicopter Crash Site In Northern SiberaThe helicopter, with three crew members and 15 passengers aboard, crashed beside an oil installation at some 180 kilometers (110 miles) from the town of Igarka, according to preliminary data from the regional department of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry.

    “According to early reports, the helicopter with passengers aboard took off after another transporting a metal structure and ran into it, causing it to crash,” a source at the scene of the accident told the Interfax news agency.

    The Utair airline, owner of the crashed helicopter, said the accident occurred at 0243 GMT near the Vankor heliport, and confirmed that all aboard were killed.

    According to the official Utair statement, weather conditions were normal at the time of the accident.


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