• Accident News For Roughnecks

    Battle for Mexico’s Oro Negro Heats Up as Creditors Attempt to Seize Oil Rigs

    The battle for control over bankrupt Mexican oil-drilling company Oro Negro turned ugly over the weekend, as attorneys for the company’s creditors, escorted by Mexican federal police officers, flew in helicopters to Oro Negro’s five drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and attempted to seize control of them, setting up a tense standoff that continued Monday.

    An Oro Negro oil drilling rig operated by Petroleos Mexicans (Pemex) in 2014. Attorneys for the company’s creditors this past weekend flew in helicopters to one of Oro Negro’s drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and attempted to seize them.On Friday, a criminal court judge in Mexico City ruled the rigs must be handed over to the bondholders.

    Mexico City prosecutors have been investigating Oro Negro, an embattled oil-services firm led Gonzalo Gil, the son of Mexico’s former finance minister, for fraud, according to disclosures Oro Negro made in a New York bankruptcy court last week.

    Ricardo Contreras, a lawyer representing the creditors group, on Sunday flew out over the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico with the police officers, attempting to enforce the judge’s order. He managed to land on just one of the drilling platforms, known as Decus, after workers placed obstacles on the heliports of the others, according to videos of the incident and both sides’ accounts.

    “A criminal judge ordered restitution of the rigs and ordered federal authorities to assist in those orders. It’s that simple,” said Paul Leand, a New York investor who heads the ad hoc committee of Oro Negro bondholders, an oversight body. “At the end of the day, we have no interest in holding on to these rigs. What we’re interested in is protecting and securing our collateral.”


    Well Operator In Fatal Fire Blames Contractors

    The operator of the Oklahoma well where five men burned to death in January says its contractors were in charge of operations at the site and therefore to blame for the tragedy.

    PattersonUTI Energy Inc.s Rig 219 was damaged in a January fire near Quinton Okla. that killed five men. Well operator Red Mountain Energy LLC is blaming contractors for the tragedy. U.S. Chemical Safety Board"This incident was the result of negligence by personnel from other companies who were responsible for maintaining control of the well in all circumstances," Tony Say, president of Oklahoma City-based Red Mountain Energy LLC, said in a statement issued through a public relations firm last week. "We categorically deny any claim our company put profits over people."

    A drilling subsidiary of Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. was drilling the well near Quinton, Okla., when it burned. Attorneys for the men killed have also sued Crescent Consulting LLC and National Oilwell Varco. Attorneys and spokespersons for those companies did not respond to requests for comment.

    Attorneys for the men killed have asserted in court documents that Red Mountain was trying to save money and impress investors with risky drilling practices. In an amended lawsuit filed earlier this month, attorney David Rumley said Red Mountain ordered contractors to use "drilling mud" that was too light to prevent a blowout (Energywire, Oct. 10).


    What the Permian Oil Boom Looks Like

    The first clear indication that I had entered an area experiencing an oil boom was the Halliburton Co. office with a “Now Hiring” sign out front on the north side of Artesia, New Mexico.

    RV parks 24hour laundromats a brandnew Bennigans and other signs of a worldchanging oil rush.Next came a couple of equipment rental places with some unfamiliar-looking equipment on their lots, then the first of what were to be many billboards advertising personal injury lawyers specializing in oilfield injuries and truck accidents (“$5.2 Million: Oilfield Explosion, Burn Injury” read one that I saw a little later from the Albuquerque law firm of Glasheen, Valles & Inderman). Tanker car after tanker car after tanker car sat on the railroad tracks to the left of the road, followed by what I eventually realized were lots of cars for hauling sand. Behind the railcars, I began to see the outlines of what appeared to be a giant refinery complex.

    Artesia is at the northwestern edge of what is known as the Permian Basin, named for the geologic period that came right before the Triassic and the Jurassic (which, as a childhood dinosaur fanatic, I find useful as context) and left a whole lot of marine organic matter across West Texas and southeastern New Mexico that spent the next 252 million years turning into oil and natural gas. Humans drilled the first successful oil well in the Texas part of the Permian in 1921, and the first big New Mexico strike came in 1928.


    Overshadowed By Permian, Eagle Ford Making Its Own Comeback

    Three years ago, Allen Startz found himself in an unwanted kinship with thousands of other oilfield workers in South Texas’ Eagle Ford shale — laid off with few prospects nearby.

    A drilling rig rises Wednesday Oct. 18 2018 behind a pasture a few miles outside Kenedy in the heart of the Eagle Ford shale oil play.He left his home in Bryan to work in the Permian Basin in West Texas, making plenty of money, but growing exhausted from the grueling 450-mile trip he made every couple of weeks to visit his family, whom he missed dearly. Today, however, he wakes up in his own bed each morning and heads to a job operating oilfield services trucks in the northeastern Eagle Ford, just 30 miles away.

    “I finally get to see my kids all the time,” said Startz, 52. “This is actually the first time I’ve ever worked and gone home on the same day. I’m getting back in the swing of things being a dad.”

    Startz’s vastly improved work-life balance is the result of a slow, but increasingly sure comeback of the Eagle Ford shale, which, for most of the energy industry’s two-year recovery has been overshadowed by the booming Permian. On the 10th anniversary of the first discovery in the Eagle Ford this October, drilling is more active than at any time since the collapse of crude prices in late 2014.

    Oil companies, contending with rising costs and shortages of workers, materials and pipelines in the Permian, are beginning to make new bets on the Eagle Ford’s 90 million-year-old shale rock. In the communities surrounding the formation, which stretches 400 miles from north of College Station to the Rio Grande near Laredo, people offer a sense that the hard times are ending, even if the Eagle Ford is no longer the epicenter of the nation’s oil and gas industry, as it was in 2012.


    High Standards


    Standard Derricks

    If you've ever wondered how well servicing occurred back in the 1920's and 30's under all those wooden and steel standard derricks, well, here you go.... 


    Utah Man Dies After Service Rig Flooring Falls On Him

    A man died Tuesday morning after part of an oil service rig floor fell on him at a Duchesne County oilfield, officials said Wednesday.

    Andrew Romero (Facebook)Andrew Romero, 40, of Roosevelt, died about 8 a.m. Tuesday at the service rig near 750 N. 3000 West, northwest of Roosevelt, Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office officials said in an emailed statement.

    Oilfield service workers were moving some heavy metal flooring from one service rig, also known as a workover rig, to another rig, officials said. A piece of the floor fell on Romero as crews were moving it.

    Romero was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration are investigating the death, sheriff’s officials said.

    Source: KSL


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