• Accident News For Roughnecks

    Bonuses Cut For Patterson UTI Execs After Fatal Rig Fire

    Patterson-UTI CEO Andy Hendricks got a $2.25 million bonus for 2017.

    Patterson UTI Exec Gets Bonus After Rigg Fire Kills 5It would have been higher, but all of the bonuses for top executives at the company were reduced because of a deadly fire at a Patterson-UTI oil and gas rig in Oklahoma in January. Five men died. Three were Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. employees.

    The company's six top executives asked the board of directors' compensation committee to waive any payout for the safety portion of their bonus calculation, according to a proxy filing last month with the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the document, the Houston-based company had revised its system for determining executive compensation for 2017. The safety component was one of the changes.

    The "key performance indicator" for safety judges the executives on "maintenance of Patterson-UTI's leadership position in operating and safety standards."

    It's not clear how much higher Hendricks' bonus would have been without the fatal fire. The maximum bonus Hendricks could have received was $2.5 million, according to the filing, $250,000 more than he got.


    Petroleum Conference Speakers Say Western North Dakota Still Sorely In Need Of Workers

    Workforce recruiting has moved to the forefront in western portions of the state, North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness said in his opening remarks for the 26th Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck on Tuesday.

    Cindy Sanford, with Job Service North Dakota in Williston, addresses the audience at the annual Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in the Bismarck Event Center on Tuesday about the state of energy related jobs in the Bakken oil patch of western North DakotaJob Service North Dakota is on the ground and trying to help out as it participated in four job fairs last week, said Cindy Sanford of the agency's Williston office. During one of the job fairs, a company hired 22 of 40 people who approached their recruiters.

    Sanford identified a need for 99 nurses at one health care company in western North Dakota. At the same time, a construction business is trying to get 500 workers in the next couple of weeks, she said.

    "Pipeline is huge this year — similar to drilling in 2011," Sanford said.

    Demand for CDL drivers and heavy equipment operators are contributing to an expected 9,382 job openings in the mining, driving, oil and hospitality industries statewide by 2019.

    "There's truly not a job that doesn't have an opening," Sanford said.

    "They're not just taking warm bodies like they were," said Daniel Sternberg, coordinator of McKenzie County Economic Development, of the oil businesses.


    Workers Back At Oil Well Where 5 Died

    Crews are back at work trying to coax oil from the Oklahoma well where five men died in a fiery rig explosion in January.

    Patterson Rig 219 ExplosionThe Oklahoma Corporation Commission confirmed last night that Red Mountain Energy has been fracking, or hydraulically fracturing, the Pryor Trust 0718 well near Quinton, Okla., about 100 miles southeast of Tulsa. Attempts to reach Red Mountain executives last night were unsuccessful.

    The rig burned for eight hours after the explosion occurred while the crew was removing pipe from the hole Jan. 22. The workers' bodies were found in the rig's control room.

    The explosion was the deadliest oil field accident since at least 2010, when 11 men were killed in the BP PLC explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. The damaged BP well was permanently plugged.

    The rig was owned by Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. Three of those who were killed worked for Patterson, which has a troubled safety record. Since 2008, when a U.S. Senate committee called the Houston company "one of the worst violators of workplace safety laws," at least 12 Patterson workers have been killed on the job.

    About a month after the Quinton explosion, another Patterson worker was seriously injured by falling pipe at another well in Oklahoma.


    U.S. Oil Rig Count Holds Steady After Six Weeks Of Gains

    The U.S. oil rig count held steady this week after rising for six weeks in a row even as crude prices soar to multi-year highs, prompting drillers to extract record amounts of oil, especially from shale.

    Baker Hughes Rig Count On The RiseThe total oil rig count held at 844 in the week to May 18, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. RIG-OL-USA-BHI

    The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is much higher than a year ago when 720 rigs were active as energy companies have been ramping up production in tandem with OPEC’s efforts to cut global output in a bid to take advantage of rising prices

    U.S. crude futures traded over $72 a barrel this week on concerns that Iranian exports could fall because of renewed U.S. sanctions, their highest since November 2014. Looking ahead, crude futures were trading around $70 for the balance of 2018 and $66 for calendar 2019.

    Shale production is expected rise to a record high 7.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, with the majority of the increase from the Permian basin, the biggest U.S. oil patch, where output is forecast to climb to a fresh high of 3.3 million bpd, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) this week projected.


    Arbitrator Finds Lewis Energy Destroyed Evidence Involving Injured Worker, Awards $1.2 Million

    San Antonio-based Lewis Energy Group destroyed evidence involving an oil field worker who was injured in 2014 when an oil and gas pipe failed, an arbitrator found this month.

    An arbitrator awarded a San Antonio man about $1.2 million after finding that San Antonio-based Lewis Energy Group and related companies intentionally destroyed evidence relating to an equipment failure that injured the man in 2014.The arbitrator awarded Johnathan David Rice, who was 58 at the time of the accident, slightly more than $1.2 million in compensation for his injuries.

    But it’s the actions of Lewis Energy and related companies that make the case noteworthy.

    Arbitrator Thomas J. Mitchell of Austin ruled that facts in the case “support a finding of intentional spoliation” by Lewis Energy.

    David Ortega, a lawyer for Lewis Energy, said he couldn’t comment on the arbitrator’s decision because of confidentiality provisions to the award. He said he believes the other side has breached the confidentiality provisions. Lewis Energy expects to comment on the arbitrator’s findings at a later time, he added.


    US Rig Count Jumps 13 To 1,045 Rigs

    The US drilling rig count gained 13 units to reach 1,045 during the week ended May 4, data from Baker Hughes indicate. The report shows an overall increase of 160 units from year-ago levels.

    Baker Hughes Rig Count On The RiseOffshore units were up 2 this week at 22 rigs. A total of 1,021 rigs were drilling on land, up 10 units from last week. The number of rigs drilling in inland waters was up 1 unit to 3 rigs working.

    Rigs targeting oil climbed 10 units to 844, and up 132 from the 712 rigs drilling for oil this week a year ago. Gas-targeted rigs were up 3 units to 199. This time last year, 172 units were drilling for gas.

    Texas saw the largest increase in rigs week-over-week with a gain of 8 units to 523 rigs running. Oklahoma and Colorado gained 3 units each to hit 138 and 30, respectively. Alaska is up 2 units to 8 rigs running. Louisiana and West Virginia each gained 1 unit to 62 and 17, respectively.

    Six states remained unchanged week over week, namely North Dakota, 56; Pennsylvania, 39; Ohio, 24; California, 15; Utah, 8; and Arkansas, 1.

    New Mexico dropped 4 units to 89 rigs running. Wyoming is down 1 unit to reach 26.

    The rig count in Canada is down 7 units to 79. This time a year ago, 80 rigs were working. Oil-directed rigs were down 5 units this week to 32, while those targeting gas dropped 2 units to 47.

    Source: Oil and Gas Journal


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