• Accident News For Roughnecks

    Quinton Gas Well Drilling Company Knew Rig Was Unsafe Before Blowout, Fire That Killed Five, Amended Lawsuit Claims

    A “cascade of errors and multiple departures from safe drilling practices” primed the gas well near Quinton for a blowout, with vital safety equipment known to be in disrepair that could have prevented the deaths of five workers, according to a recent court filing.

    Quinton Oklahoma rig explosion that claimed lives of 5 workersMore than 1,000 alarms allegedly were triggered on the rig during a 10-hour period in January, with nearly 100 of them indicating a problem with control of the well. But the alarms purportedly had been disabled, and no one heard them.

    A lawsuit, amended for a second time Dec. 4, alleges that the drilling company didn’t act upon its own documents that indicated a crucial safety device to close the well in an emergency was in “severe disrepair.”

    Two related lawsuits were updated in October, centering on accusations that the well operator disregarded “proven and successful” drilling programs in favor of a more lucrative but risky plan.

    The drilling company is Patterson-UTI Drilling, which was contracted by Red Mountain Energy, the well’s owner. In addition to those two companies, National Oilwell Varco and Crescent Consulting are listed as defendants in each lawsuit.

    The latest amended lawsuit centers on accusations that Patterson-UTI engaged in unsafe drilling practices and ignored established protocols during an overnight operation to pull drill pipe from the well and replace the bottom-hole assembly.

    The day crew “inherited a ticking time bomb” after natural gas flowed into the well during the pipe-removal process, according to the lawsuit.

    “Patterson Drilling had the most direct control over the drilling operations and emergency response to changing conditions and failed to use ordinary care with respect to its conduct,” the lawsuit alleges.


    Ohio-Oilfield Death Ruled Accidental After Autopsy

    An autopsy conducted at the Licking County Coroner’s Office has confirmed David M. Vernot, 52, suffered a fatal chest injury Tuesday morning when a 3,000-pound pipe rolled off a trailer at an oil and gas well site on Oxford Road and struck him where he stood next to the trailer. 

    Guernsey County Ohio Oilfield Accident Claims Life“The death has been ruled accidental,” said Guernsey County Coroner Dr. Sandra Schubert. “The cause of death was a crushing injury to his chest.” 

    The full autopsy report will not be available for several weeks. 

    The Pennsylvania resident was pronounced dead at Southeastern Med where he was transported by emergency medical personnel. First responders from the Old Washington and Quaker City volunteer fire departments, United Ambulance and Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the scene. 

    Emergency medical personnel joined forces to transport Vernot to the Cambridge hospital. 

    Guernsey County Sheriff Jeff Paden said an investigation revealed the pipe rolled from the trailer, but a forklift was not being used to unload the pipe at the time of the accident. The sheriff corrected his previous statement indicating a forklift was in use when the accident occurred at approximately 11:12 a.m. 


    Oil And Gas Boom In Permian Basin Boosts Local Charities

    With the recent oil and gas boom in the Permian Basin, charities are seeing an increase in donations from some of the oil companies that have come in, but the number of clients being served is also increasing as many workers can't afford rent and are looking for other help.

    United Way Helps in Permian BasinThe boom began in about mid-2017, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported. It led to a dramatic influx of workers into the area, increasing housing demands and causing housing costs to spike, according to Linda Dodd, executive director of the United Way of Carlsbad and South Eddy County.

    "We still have some families that are living in their vehicles," Dodd said. "We know the places in Carlsbad are too expensive."

    The United Way gathers donations and distributes them to other charities in the area, including local soup kitchens, clothing drives and shelters.

    It also helps connect those in need with the services.

    But there's no denying the impact oil and gas has had on local charities.

    Dodd said United Way's goal for this year was $650,000 in available funding, and it is already at 69 percent.

    In 2017, when the boom first struck, donations from oil and gas companies totaled around $72,000 by the end of the year.

    By November 2018, the industry provided $64,000.


    Iraqi Security Prevents Protesters From Storming Oilfield

    Iraqi security forces yesterday prevented dozens of demonstrators from storming the major oilfield of West Qurna 2 in the country’s southern province of Basra.

    Iraqi security forces deploy military equipment after taking control of Altun Kopru village of Kirkuk Iraq on 20 October 2017“Dozens of unemployed demonstrators attempted to storm the outer fence of the field [West Qurna 2] north of Basra,” Army Lieutenant Mohamed Khalaf told Anadolu Agency.

    Khalaf explained that the security forces in charge of protecting the oilfield “fired warning shots in the air to prevent the demonstrators from storming the facility.”

    “Security forces are authorised to deal firmly against any attempts to damage the oil installations,” he stressed.

    West Qurna 2 – managed by Russia’s Lukoil – produces 400,000 barrels of oil per day. Lukoil is yet to provide details on the impact the incident on the field’s production.


    Companies Settle With Paralyzed Oilfield Worker for $44M

    An oilfield worker who was rendered quadriplegic after a light fixture improperly attached to an oil derrick fell more than 100 feet onto his head has settled his claims against five companies for a total of $44 million.

    An oilfield worker who was rendered quadriplegic after a light fixture improperly attached to an oil derrick fell more than 100 feet onto his head has settled his claims against five companies for a total of 44 million.The multimillion-dollar award is meant to compensate the injured plaintiff, James Burgess, and his wife, Kay Sharon Burgess, who live in rural Texas. The case, which was filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, came to a settlement after two days of mediation before retired federal magistrate Judge Diane Welsh.

    “Mrs. Burgess’s loss of consortium claim was probably the most significant consortium claim anyone in the case had ever encountered,” Sheridan & Murray attorney Thomas Sheridan, who represented the Burgesses, said. “Her husband is in a hospital over 90 miles away from her house. She drove to the hospital every day for the last six years to see her husband.”

    According to court papers, James Burgess was working on a drill rig owned and operated by Patterson Drilling Services in December 2012. A four-foot LED light designed by Dialight fell 103 feet onto Burgess’ head, causing a neck fracture that compressed his spinal cord and rendered him permanently quadriplegic.


    Texas-Man Killed When Cables Snapped At Denton County Drilling Site

    Officials found a 52-year-old man dead at a Denton County drilling site Wednesday morning, apparently killed when cables broke and struck him.

    Texas Man Killed in Oilfield AccidentLouis Earl Goodman was found dead at a gas well about 4 miles west of Ponder at 10:35 a.m., according to the Tarrant County medical examiner.

    Investigators from the Denton County Sheriff's Office believe Goodman's death was a tragic accident, according to a spokeswoman.

    Authorities believe cables at the site broke and struck Goodman sometime before Wednesday morning, Denton County Emergency Services Assistant Chief Roland Asebedo told the Denton Record-Chronicle.

    Goodman was from Bryson, about 60 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

    Source: Dallas News     


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