• Featured Oilfield News

    GoFundMe Campaign Started For Family Of Oilfield Accident Victim

    A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to assist the family of Mark Biglin, the man killed Monday in a workplace accident in the southeast oilpatch.

    GoFundMe Campaign Started For Family Of Oilfield Accident VictimKayla Kopacz, who launched the campaign, wrote that her best friend Nickie lost her loving partner. Kopacz also praised Biglin for how he raised his children Tykayah (18), Breck (15) and Piper (six)

    Biglin wanted to be a mechanic but has been working on the oil rigs to support his family.

    “Nickie is one of a kind and has been putting herself through school to be a social worker from home,” Kopacz wrote.

    Kopacz asked for people to please support the family in this sudden tragedy, as the road ahead will be very difficult.

    “Piper, Breck, and Tykayah are amazing children with huge hearts that will always have a piece of Mark with them forever as their guardian angel,” she wrote.

    As of Thursday morning, the campaign had raised $9,825 of its $100,000 goal, with 76 donors contributing in a little more than a day.

    To support the campaign, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/a-life-taken-too-soon-help-nickie-breck.

    The incident occurred Monday at a Crescent Point Energy Corp. site near Stoughton. He was working for Aaron Well Servicing when the accident occurred.

    Source: Estevan Mercury


    Statute To Limit Personal Injury Damage Verdicts Ruled Unconstitutional

    Gravely injured and lying in a hospital bed in 2012, Todd Beason wondered if his life would ever be the same. A married father of three boys, Beason was a drilling rig supervisor for an oil and gas company. But while working on a rig site in Texas, another company’s employee improperly side-loaded an industrial crane which caused an 80-foot boom arm to free-fall, crashing down onto Beason. He suffered a life-threatening brachial-plexus injury, tearing apart the nerves connecting his spinal cord to his left shoulder, arm and hand.  

    Todd Beason had extensive surgeries two amputations and months of specialized medical treatment.After extensive surgeries, two amputations and months of specialized medical treatment, Beason is permanently disabled and will require ongoing medical care and constant pain management the rest of his life. And it began an uphill, seven year legal battle that would ultimately overturn the Oklahoma statute governing an injured party’s ability to receive proper compensation for a debilitating lifelong injury and the resulting pain and suffering.

    Personal injury, personal care

    The Beason family sought experienced, highly-competent legal advice for their upcoming battle and chose the Abel Law Firm as their legal representatives.

    Led by respected personal injury attorneys Ed Abel, Kelly Bishop and Luke Abel, the legal team began months of exhaustive preparation for trial. The Abel Law Firm communicated regularly with the Beason family, kept them informed of their preparation and what to expect in the upcoming days. But it was during the trial that the Abel’s care, skill and preparation really stood out to the Beasons.

     “They did everything they said they would do … they fought so hard for us,” said Todd’s wife, Dara. “Luke, Kelly, Ed … all of them in the courtroom were absolutely phenomenal.”

    In June of 2015, an Oklahoma County jury returned a $15 million verdict for the Beasons. Jurors allocated $9 million for Beason’s economic losses; $5 million for non-economic damages (i.e. pain, suffering, permanency, mental anguish and disfigurement); and $1 million for his wife’s non-economic loss of consortium claim. But their waiting wasn’t over.

    An unexpected glitch

    Although the jury found no negligence on Beason’s part, the court was obligated to follow the existing state statute, reducing non-economic damages to $350,000 per person. The statute also forced the trial judge to reduce the judgment from $15 million down to $9.7 million: $9,350,000 for Beason and $350,000 for his wife.

    However, jurors had not been informed of the $350,000 cap until the end of the court proceedings, after they had awarded a total verdict and allocated the damages into subsections. As such, jurors were unaware that their designation of certain funds as non-economic damages – often referred to as ‘pain and suffering’ – would result in the total monetary judgment being lowered.


    Service Rig Death On Crescent Point Site Near Stoughton

    A fatality was reported at a Crescent Point Energy Corp. site near Stoughton on Aug. 19. A Weyburn-based service rig company was working on the site, according to a statement from Crescent Point received by email.

    A worker died on a Crescent Point site near Stoughton on Aug. 19. Note this is a file photo and not of the actual scene.The statement said, “Earlier today, an Aaron Well Servicing employee passed away while located at one of our sites near Stoughton, Saskatchewan. Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased Aaron Well Servicing employee.

    “Immediately after notification of the incident, we initiated our corporate emergency response and secured the site to ensure the ongoing safety of staff, the community and environment.

    “As both external and internal investigations into the cause of death are ongoing, Crescent Point is unable to comment on this situation. Right now, our focus is on supporting our colleagues.”

    STARS Air Ambulance's Twitter feed noted a unit had been dispatched to a scene call emergency in the Stoughton area around 1 p.m. that day. 

    Source: Pipeline News


    U.S. Drillers Add Oil Rigs For First Week Since June

    U.S. energy firms this week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in seven weeks despite plans by most producers to cut spending on new drilling this year.

    Drilling rigs operate at sunset in Midland Texas U.S. February 13 2019Companies added six oil rigs in the week to Aug. 16, the biggest increase since April, bringing the total count to 770, General Electric Co’s  Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. 

    In the same week a year ago, there were 869 active rigs.

    The oil rig count, an early indicator of future output, has declined over the past eight months as independent exploration and production companies cut spending on new drilling as they focus more on earnings growth instead of increased output.

    Production has continued to rise despite the decline in the rig count because productivity has increased in most basins this year, meaning drillers are getting more oil and gas out of each new well even though they are operating fewer rigs. 

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration  this week projected U.S. crude output from seven major shale formations would rise by 85,000 barrels per day in September to a record 8.77 million bpd.

    In total, the EIA projected U.S. oil production would rise to 12.27 million bpd in 2019 from a record 10.99 million bpd in 2018. 


    Trump To Promote Turning Natural Gas Into Plastics In Pennsylvania

    Trying to hold support in the manufacturing towns that helped him win the White House in 2016, President Donald Trump is showcasing growing efforts to capitalize on western Pennsylvania's natural gas deposits by turning gas into plastics.

    TPresident Donald Trump talks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. Trump is showcasing the growing effort to capitalize on western Pennsylvanias natural gas deposits by turning gas into plastics..jpgrump will be in Monaca, about 40 minutes north of Pittsburgh, on Tuesday to tour Shell's soon-to-be completed Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex. The facility, which critics claim will become the largest air polluter in western Pennsylvania, is being built in an area hungry for investment.

    The focus is part of a continued push by the Trump administration to increase the economy's dependence on fossil fuels in defiance of increasingly urgent warnings about climate change. And it's an embrace of plastic at a time when the world is sounding alarms over its ubiquity and impact.

    Trump's appeals to blue-collar workers helped him win Beaver County, where the plant is located, by more than 18 percentage points in 2016, only to have voters turn to Democrats in 2018's midterm elections. In one of a series of defeats that led to Republicans' loss of the House, voters sent Democrat Conor Lamb to Congress after the prosperity promised by Trump's tax cuts failed to materialize.


    ExxonMobil Fined $40K After Heavy Chain Fell Within Centimetres Of Worker

    Chain drop caused by improperly maintained shackle; regulator found more issues

    The near miss took place on the Noble Regina Allen offshore rig which is under contract to ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil is decommissioning the Sable Offshore Energy Project.Nova Scotia's offshore petroleum regulator has fined ExxonMobil $40,000 after a heavy chain fell near workers on a drilling rig last year.

    The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board said it determined the oil and gas company was not in compliance with drilling regulations after the Nov. 5 incident.

    In a press release on Tuesday, the board said the equipment used in a lifting operation on board the Noble Regina Allen offshore drilling rig under contract to ExxonMobil was not maintained and operated to prevent the incident. 

    Five workers were on deck when the 16-metre-long, 102-kilogram chain and shackles fell about 17 metres, missing one worker by about 30 centimetres. The shackles and chain are part of the lifting equipment used on board the rig.

    Workers were in the process of disconnecting a load at the time, the board said. 

    "While no one was injured, the incident was classified as a near miss with the potential for a fatality," said the regulator in their notice of violation, which was issued to ExxonMobil on July 12. 


    Three Workers Severely Burned After Oil Rig Explodes In Jasper County Texas

    Four people have been injured in an explosion at oil rig in Jasper County Friday morning.

    Three workers severely burned after oil rig explodes in Jasper CountyTwo people were flown by helicopter from the scene of the explosion, Jasper County Sheriff Mitchell Newman said. 

    Another person was taken by ambulance to Silsbee where they were then flown to a hospital by helicopter, he said. A fourth person who was injured was not transported to the hospital. 

    Newman said he witnessed the three severely burned men being airlifted.

    "It's just a tragedy," he said. "We have three men hurting, I can't even imagine getting burned." 

    The explosion, off County Road 607 between Buna and Kirbyville, was reported at about 10:40 a.m. Records from the Texas Railroad Commission show the rig operates at a depth of more than 9,000 feet. 

    Jasper County Emergency Management Coordinator Billy Ted Smith said the explosion happened at an oil rig owned by Jeffcoat Production, a company based in Spurger.


    US Oil Rig Count Hits 19-Month Low Amid Broad Drilling Slowdown

    The US oil rig count fell to a 19-month low this week as drilling activity waned in nearly all major basins, information published by RigData showed Thursday.

    The number of active US oil drilling rigs edged down by 11 to 815 this week, the lowest since January 2018 and 100 lower than year-ago levels. The decline in oil drilling activity led the combined US oil and gas rig count down 11 to 1,022 last week, itself a 19-month low.


    Companies Increase Oklahoma Production While Cutting Rigs

    Oil and natural gas production in Oklahoma is likely to continue increasing even as companies further cut the number of rigs active in the state.

    Oklahoma production numbers continue to rise despite rig cuts.jpgThat’s the message from the state’s most active publicly traded producers, detailed over the past two weeks in the companies’ second-quarter earnings reports.

    The result likely will continue a trend the state’s oil patch experienced over the past year if actions follow company forecasts.

    Oil production continued to grow over the past year even as the number of rigs active in the state tumbled by 36% and the rig count in the state’s Cana Woodford Basin — which includes the STACK and SCOOP fields — is off 29% from one year ago, according to Baker Hughes.

    The trend is led by a continued focus on cutting costs; while at the same time, improved technology and processes have allowed companies to produce more with less — less drilling and completion time, less money, fewer rigs and fewer employees.

    It’s a mixed report for the economies of Oklahoma and the state’s oil patch. The reduction allows companies to stay in business and stay active in the state. But the reduced rig count means fewer employees and lower spending levels.


    Pertamina Starts Drilling Relief Well to Stop Oil Spill Off North Java Coast

    Pertamina Hulu Energi Offshore Northwest Java, an oil-drilling subsidiary of the state energy company, has started drilling a relief well to plug the oil leak that has been polluting the north coast of West Java in the past few weeks. 

    Pertamina has deployed a cleaning team to work with local communities and regional governments to clean up beaches affected by the oil spillIt has hired Boots & Coots, an American well control company, which successfully resolved a similar but larger incident in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

    "We will control the YYA-1 well through this new YYA-1RW well so we can immediately close the well so it no longer spills oil," Pertamina Hulu Energi spokesman Ifki Sukarya said in a statement on Friday. 

    He said the company had already drilled 624 meters of the targeted 2,765 meters into the seabed and that they planned to pump mud from the relief well into the YYA-1 well to plug the leak and close it off permanently. 

    The oil spill affected more than 4,5 square kilometers of marine and coastal area, crippling fishermen and shrimp farmers in the region. The incident came just 15 months after a similar oil spill in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, caused the death of five people and polluted an area of 130 square kilometers.


    Denver-Based Whiting Petroleum Slashes A Third Of Its Workforce

    Whiting Petroleum Corp. said Wednesday that it has eliminated 254 positions or a third of its workforce, including 94 executive and corporate positions at its Denver headquarters, as part of a cost-cutting effort.

    Whiting Petroleum Co. pump jack pulls crude oil from the Bakken region of the Northern Plains.jpgThe oil and gas company, which also released second-quarter corporate earnings on Wednesday, said the restructuring should result in $50 million in annual cost savings and require the company to take a one-time charge of $8 million in the third quarter.

    “We aim to be as efficient as possible and that is why we made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce in order to realize significant annualized cost savings,” said Bradley Holly, Whiting’s chairman, CEO and president, in a news release on Wednesday.

    Holly said investors’ focus has shifted to predictable capital returns.

    “The decision to reduce headcount is always a difficult one as it impacts talented colleagues and friends, but it is a necessary step in our company’s transformation. I want to express my sincere appreciation for the employees affected by today’s announcement and their many contributions to Whiting,” he said.


    Rig Owners Forecast Further Drilling Decline

    Drilling rig owners and others who lease equipment to U.S. energy producers forecast a slowdown in activity during the second half of the year as natural-gas prices plumb lows and exploration-and-production companies exhaust their budgets.

    Nabors Industries equipment in the Permian Basin near Midland Texas. The number of rigs drilling in the U.S. has declined by about 10 over the last year.jpg

    The number of rigs drilling in the U.S. has declined by about 10% over the past year, to 946 last week, according to oil-field-services firm Baker Hughes , and big drilling contractors are telling investors to expect more to be idled in the coming months.

    “We had expected drilling and completion activity to have reached the bottom by now, but that doesn’t appear to be the case,” Mark Siegel, chairman of rig operator Patterson-UTI Energy Inc., told investors Thursday on a call to discuss the company’s second-quarter results.

    The Houston company said that on average, 158 of its rigs were operating during the second quarter, down from 176 during the year-earlier period. It said it expects a further 10% decline this quarter.

    The Houston company said that on average, 158 of its rigs were operating during the second quarter, down from 176 during the year-earlier period. It said it expects a further 10% decline this quarter.

    The Houston company said that on average, 158 of its rigs were operating during the second quarter, down from 176 during the year-earlier period. It said it expects a further 10% decline this quarter.

    Patterson-UTI’s stock has lost about 40% over the past year. Rival Helmerich & Payne Inc. last week made similarly dour forecasts for its fleet and has been stripping components from recently decommissioned rigs, a sign that it sees its downsizing as lasting. Its shares are down 22% since this time last year.

    Shares of Nabors Industries Ltd. NBR 29.52% , another big owner of rigs, are down 65% from a year ago. Anthony Petrello, Nabor’s chief executive, said Tuesday evening that the company’s second quarter, during which it posted a $208 million loss, “was marked by continued gradual softening of drilling activity” in the continental U.S. Less than two-thirds of its available 190 U.S. land rigs were drilling during the period.

    The contract drillers’ struggles reflect a broader conundrum for the U.S. energy industry since energy prices collapsed in late 2014: The rise in oil prices, up 24% this year and nearly double what it was at the depths of the bust, hasn’t been enough to bring the sector consistent profitability or interest from investors.

    On Monday, U.S. crude futures closed up 1.2% to $56.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the global price gauge, gained 0.4% to $63.71 on London’s Intercontinental Exchange.


    Halliburton Cuts 8 Percent Of North American Workforce Amid Fracking Slump

    Houston oilfield service company Halliburton said it cut 8 percent of its North American workforce as it took fleets of hydraulic fracturing equipment from the field  in response to a continued slump in demand for fracking services in the United States and Canada.

    Houston oilfield service company Halliburton is taking fleets out of the field and cutting 8 percent of its North American workforce in response to a continued slump in demand for hydraulic fracturing services in the United States and Canada.The job cuts occurred during the second quarter, which runs from April to June, said company spokeswoman Emily Mir. Halliburton did not disclose the number of jobs cut.

    The company has 60,000 employees worldwide but does not provide a headcount by region.

    Halliburton's profits plunged to $75 million in the second quarter, down from $511 million during the same period in 2018. Its revenues slipped to $5.9 billion from $6.1 billion from a year earlier.

    Halliburton and other companies in the oilfield service sector are still feeling the effects of a fourth quarter crude oil price crash that continues to cut demand for hydraulic fracturing services.

    During a Monday morning investors' call, Halliburton CEO Jeff Miller said the company has pulled unused hydraulic fracturing fleets from the field and will not redeploy them until it can see "acceptable returns."


    National Oilwell Varco Posts Nearly $5.4 Billion Loss During Second Quarter

    Houston oilfield service company National Oilwell Varco reported a multibillion loss during the second quarter amid what executives are calling a "generational oilfield downturn."

    NOV.jpgNOV reported a nearly $5.39 billion loss on $2.13 billion of revenue during the second quarter. The figures translated into a $14.11 loss per share.

    The second quarter earnings were mixed compared to the $24 million profit on $2.1 billion of revenue.

    Although NOV beat Wall Street expectations of $2.09 billion of revenue, the company fell far below the expected loss per share of 6 cents.

    National Oilwell Varco CEO Clay Williams described the second quarter results as part of a generational oilfield downturn. The company evaluated the carrying value of its long-lived assets amid market indicators hitting new decade-lows. Based on the evaluation, the company recorded a charge of $5.37 billion to write down goodwill, intangible assets and fixed assets  -- on top of $399 million in restructuring charges and $11 million in other costs.

    "Though we are well-positioned to support growth in the offshore and international markets as customers increase activity after years of curtailed spending, severe capital austerity and lower activity in North America are resulting in a rapid change in our business mix," Williams said in a statement. "This presents NOV with both opportunities and challenges."


    Shale Drilling’s Worst Yet To Come, Biggest Rig Owner Says

    Three months ago, when Helmerich had 220 of its rigs hired out, CEO John Lindsay told investors the second quarter would be the nadir for his fleet. But after the number of Helmerich rigs at work shrank to 214 a few weeks ago, Lindsay says his earlier projection was “premature.”

    Helmerich and Payne“The full effect of the industry’s emphasis on disciplined capital spending continues to reverberate through the oil field services sector,” he said in a Wednesday statement. “We are reluctant to predict another bottom and see further softening during our fourth fiscal quarter as our guidance would indicate.”

    The hired hands of the shale patch who drill and frac wells are suffering from a slowdown in North American spending brought on by investor demands for higher returns. The U.S. oil rig count has fallen 11% this year, according to Baker Hughes.

    Fracing giant Halliburton is eliminating jobs and warehousing equipment no one wants to rent. Superior Energy Services said earlier this week that it’s looking for ways to cut costs and may sell assets to raise cash. On Thursday, 28 of the 29 oil and gas industry stocks in the S&P 500 Index were falling.