• Featured Oilfield News

    Carlsbad Oilfield Workers Warned About Hazards On The Job

    A mother bobcat anxiously passed around the catwalk at a tank battery site in southeast New Mexico .

    A worker confronted the animal, tossing small equipment at it in hopes the predator would leave the area on its own.

    Undeterred, the animal crawled up the catwalk and laid to rest on a landing, 12 feet above the ground.

    Hours later, it wandered off.

    Rattlesnakes present a danger around oilfield equipmentNo one was hurt in the encounter about two years ago, but John Able, safety specialist with oilfield service company Danos Inc. said the incident taught his workers to be vigilant of not only the dangers caused by extraction developments, but the environments that surround them.

    “Our guys are in their environment,” Able said of the wildlife. “You’ve got to keep your head on a swivel. We’re used to the hazards caused by the oilfield, but not so much the environmental hazards.”

    Especially during the spring, Able worried oil workers could expect an influx of animals interacting with the industry.

    “They’ve got babies everywhere,” he said. “We told our guys to be more aware. This time of year, we really need to be cautious.”

    Veterinarian and founder of the Desert Willow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Samantha Uhrig said the remote areas of the county known for heavy extraction development, are also host to myriad animals and wildlife that could pose an often-ignored threat to workers.


    Iranian Helicopter Crashes Into Persian Gulf

    A helicopter of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) which had been sent to Platform R1 to transport a worker suffering from heart attack crashed into Persian Gulf waters shortly after its take off from the platform, IRNA reports.

    Iran Helicopter CrashDeath of Javad Karandish (partient) and Behrouz Ashkan (assistant physician) have been confirmed while pilot of the helicopter Capitan Soheili is in good health.

    Governor and Head of Bandar Lengeh Crisis Management Working Group said that as a result of the crash, two were killed and two are still missing and one has been saved.

    Arsalan Bahar-Meymandi added that the helicopter with five persons on board crashed into Persian Gulf waters at 21:00 while it was transporting a sick worker to hospital.

    Searches are underway to save two missing persons, he said.

    Source: Trend


    Devon Energy Set To Layoff 300 Employees

    Devon Energy is laying off 300 employees, the company announced on Tuesday.

    Devon Energy Oklahoma CityThis round of layoffs represents about 9 percent of the company overall and is said to impact all parts of the company.

    A spokesperson for the company released the following statement regarding the situation:

    "The oil and gas industry is in a lower-for-longer commodity price environment, which requires Devon to transform the way it operates. The company must continue to sharpen its focus on core operations, increase its operating and financial efficiencies and align its workforce with this heightened focus to be as competitive and successful as possible in this environment. As a necessary step in achieving that alignment, Devon is reducing its employee count by about 9 percent, or approximately 300 jobs.

    Devon continually evaluates its resource needs to meet the changing structure of its business. The workforce reduction aligns the company’s organizational structure with the business activities that best support Devon’s strategy to optimize investment returns.

    As the company simplifies its asset portfolio and improves its financial strength, these staff reductions, together with numerous other cost-reduction measures, will remove $150 million to $200 million in general and administrative costs by 2020. The workforce reductions, which will impact all parts of the company, will occur in the weeks ahead."

    The last time the company was forced to layoff employees was back in early 2016.

    Source: News9


    North Dakota Oil Country Begging For Workers, Say Official

    The jobs outlook in the Oil Patch in western North Dakota is at its highest level in three years.

    An oil derrick is seen at a fracking site for extracting oil outside of Williston North DakotaCentral North Dakota looks good, too, heading into summer.

    Released last week, Job Service North Dakota's latest regional reports for job openings in central North Dakota and the Oil Patch region indicate their highest numbers since 2015-16.

    In March, job openings in the oil country counties of Divide, McKenzie and Williams in northwest North Dakota cracked their highest since July 2015, according to Job Service North Dakota. Cindy Sanford, of the Williston Job Service North Dakota office, said the oilfield needs more people, preferably with experience and driving records free of moving violations.

    Hydraulic fracturing, pipelines, truck driving, drone operators — these and more all need bodies, according to Sanford, who said the three northwestern counties also have "a huge, huge need" for health-care professionals and about 40 teachers.


    Oklahoma Workover Rig Explosion Injures 2

    An Oklahoma workover rig caught fire today injuring two workers. This happened in Wewoka on Highway 56.

    Wewoka Workover Rig ExplosionThe Seminole County Sheriff’s office say two workers were injured. One of those workers was taken by medical helicopter to a hospital in Oklahoma City.

    The rig is still burning off natural gas at this time according to the Seminole Police Department.

    The cause is under investigation.

    Source: KFOR


    Over 1,000 Oil Workers Evacuated In Azerbaijan Ahead Of Storm

    More than 1,000 oil workers of SOCAR's "Azneft" Production Union have been evacuated from Azerbaijan's Caspian offshore platforms due to the severe weather conditions in the country, state news agency AZERTAC said Friday.

    Photo: SOCARPhone messages were sent to all sites of offshore oil and gas production departments in connection with meteorological forecasts, "Azneft" spokesman Ibrahim Ahmadov said.

    He said that only the required number of duty officers remained at offshore oil and gas production facilities.

    "Measures have been taken to evacuate over 1,000 workers from offshore platforms by air and sea transport. The situation is under constant control," he said.

    A strong storm has been forecast to hit Azerbaijan's part of the Caspian sea on March 30. Strong windy weather will continue until March 31 morning with north-west wind speeds of 32-35 m/s in some parts of the Absheron peninsula, according to the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources.


    15 Oilfield Workers Killed In Kuwait

    Fifteen oil workers, most of them from the Indian subcontinent, were killed yesterday in a head-on collision between two buses on the southern Wafra highway, officials said.

    Horrific scene of the tragic accident in Kuwait on SundaySeven of those killed were Indian nationals, five were Egyptians and the other three were from Pakistan, said Mohammed Al-Basri of the state-owned Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). An Indian – in critical condition – and a Kuwaiti were also injured in the accident.

    Fire department spokesman Colonel Khalil Al-Amir said the victims were employees of Burgan Drilling, a private subcontractor for KOC. The fire department added that rescue teams from Kabd, Wafra, backup and KOC fire stations rushed to the scene, and the two injured men were transferred to hospital by land and air ambulances.

    HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday sent cables of condolences to the families of the victims. The Amir also thanked policemen, firemen, Kuwait Oil Company and the health ministry in the way they dealt with the tragic accident. HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent similar cables.


    These AR Goggles Are Making Faster Fixes in Oil Fields

    Managing complicated repairs remotely saves oil companies time and money.

    Gianpiero Di Marzo of Baker Hughes works on a gas turbine using a Smart Helmet which allows a remote engineer to see what hes looking at in real time on March 16 2018 in Houston.Replacing parts of an outdated Baker Hughes turbine at a petrochemical plant in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, is about as fun as it sounds. The chore was supposed to halt operations at the facility for at least 10 days and cost $50,000 to fly a specialized U.S. work crew about 9,000 miles. Instead, once the equipment upgrade began last year, it took only five days and zero air travel—just an on-site technician wearing a dorky helmet camera and a few American engineers supervising remotely. They watched and coached the local crew through the helmet from a Baker Hughes site in Pomona, Calif.

    Augmented-reality headsets, which overlay digital images on a real-world field of vision, are driving advances in industrial technology a few steps beyond FaceTime. While the likes of Apple, Amazon.com, Google, and Microsoft race to develop mainstream AR consumer gadgets in the next couple of years, they’ve been outpaced by oil companies looking for ways to cut costs. Some are simply buying the goggles and building custom software; others are investing directly in AR startups; still others are making the hardware as well. Baker Hughes, a General Electric Co. subsidiary, calls its rig a Smart Helmet. “Traditionally I would have to pay for two people’s travel, two people’s accommodations, and so forth to visit the customer’s site to do the mentoring,” says John McMillan, a regional repairs chief at the company whose team uses the helmet regularly. “It’s saved me a lot.”


    NOV Develops Iron Roughneck Upgrade

    Operators in the Permian basin cannot always expend the additional capital necessary to procure entirely new equipment—and often, they don’t need to.

    ST80E iron roughneck.jpgUpgrades to common rig equipment can provide performance increases without the cost and downtime associated with newbuilds. To enable drilling contractors to more economically increase performance using their existing equipment, National Oilwell Varco (NOV) has developed and introduced an upgrade package for its ST-80 iron roughneck—the ST-80E—to the Permian basin.

    The ST-80E builds upon the success of the ST-80, the most widely used iron roughneck in oil and gas operations, according to NOV. Drilling contractors are increasingly seeking ways to differentiate their rig fleet, particularly as the land drilling market is fraught with intense competition for contracts in the current cost environment; to address this, NOV developed an upgrade package that provides significantly improved performance at a fraction of the cost of buying entirely new capital equipment. The widespread use of the original iron roughneck in active shale plays such as the Permian also means that the upgrade can be performed faster and with better service without any loss of quality.


    Faulty Tail On Helicopter Which Crashed Into Oil Platform

    A Helicopter which crashed into a North Sea oil platform during a routine flight with eight passengers aboard was flying with a faulty tail rotor which could have failed at any time, investigators have found.

    Sikorsky S92 West FranklinThe Sikorsky S92 carved gouge marks across a helipad on the West Franklin Platform when it landed heavily after a short flight from Total's Elgin rig.

    Both of the crew members and the passengers onboard escaped unscathed, but the crash led to the Sikorskys92 fleet being grounded across the world for safety checks.

    Now an Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) probe has disclosed that engineers noticed problems with the aircraft before the incident in December 2016, but did not act on them.

    An AAIB report incident said that vibrations had been detected coming from the tail rotor the day before the crash, which were investigated but not disclosed to the crew.

    On the day of the flight the helicopter took off and spun slightly out of control, before stabilising. The pilots assumed the malfunction had been caused by the wind, and proceeded to fly to the rig.


    A Small Oilfield In Oklahoma Seeing Big Bets From Producers

    The Meramec formation is a part of what is called the STACK region - Sooner Trend Anadarko basin Canadian and Kingfisher counties - where companies such as Marathon Oil and Devon Energy bought up acreage following the oil slump in 2014.

    A pump jack operates at a well site leased by Devon Energy Production Company near Guthrie OklahomaThose investments are now paying off as production levels rise and soaring land costs in the Permian have producers looking to other fields for expansion.

    Leading the pack is Oklahoma-based Devon Energy Corp, which expects its STACK production to reach 140,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) by the end of 2018, up from 107,000 boed a year ago.

    Devon, also a Permian operator, said in a presentation earlier this month that it has earmarked more than 95 percent of its STACK budget for Meramec although it did not disclose dollar values.

    Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp said last month it brought 26 wells online on a gross basis in the last quarter - nearly a third of all its new wells - up from 7 wells a year earlier. Its total production from Oklahoma rose to 64,000 boed in the fourth quarter, up about 42 percent over a year-earlier.

    Smaller oil producers also are taking notice. Colorado’s Cimarex Energy said it is continuing to map the Meramec and move to development of its acreage there. Canada’s Jericho Oil also plans “tuck-in acquisitions” in the region.

    “We are extremely encouraged with the results of ... Meramec wells,” said Jericho Chief Executive Brian Williamson.


    Public Divided Over 5,000 Well Oil And Gas Project In Wyoming

    Jim Willox knows when industry is picking up in Douglas, a 6,000-head town in the heart of the southern Powder River Basin.

    It’s the traffic.

    The Nabors X21 rig operates at a Wold Energy Partners well site Friday north of Rolling Hills in Converse County. A proposed 5,000-well project in the county would bring as many as 8,000 jobs and $28 billion in revenue to the area over 10 years.The drive-thru may have seven cars instead of three. Winch trucks and flatbeds stack up at stoplights, and men eat alone in cafes — temporary fixtures in a town that may be far from home, wife or kids, the Converse County commissioner said.

    People that live around Douglas are expecting to see those familiar signs of an increase in drilling if the price of oil remains steady, more so because a proposed 5,000-well project may be approved just north of town.

    The project would be an economic boon, bringing an estimated 8,000 jobs and as much as $28 billion in revenue to the region over 10 years, but public comments on a draft assessment of the project by the Bureau of Land Management are divided.

    The agency spent four years analyzing how the 1.5 million-acre project would impact everything from dirt roads to bald eagles, but its preferred direction is exactly what the five oil and gas firms have proposed — 5,000 wells over 10 years — with exemptions to allow for year-round development where possible. Industry groups and political leaders support that direction as one more manageable for local communities, but environmental advocates, and even other federal agencies, have criticized the proposed alternative for failing to address the magnitude of the project’s impact on wildlife, water and air quality.


    Snap Offshore Inspections Uncover Serious Violations

    Faced with questions about its commitment to safety, the Interior Department sent teams to the Gulf of Mexico last week to inspect giant cranes used in offshore oil and gas operations that are a significant source of accidents.

    Interior Department inspectors visited 40 platforms and drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico in March after an alert about potentially catastrophic craneMore than 50 inspectors, traveling on helicopters, conducted surprise inspections on about 40 offshore platforms and drilling rigs, said Jason Mathews, head of offshore safety management for the Gulf of Mexico at the department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

    The results were still being compiled, he said, but the inspectors found serious problems, including some that were potentially life threatening. "There are still some major incidents that are occurring, and we need to figure out why," Mathews said Friday.

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had discussed plans for the inspection push this month after the safety bureau issued an alert to offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf. It warned about a series of "potentially catastrophic crane and lifting incidents" that occurred late last year on platforms and drilling rigs.

    No one was killed or injured in those crane incidents, but lifting-related accidents are the second-largest cause of offshore fatalities, outnumbered only by fires and explosions, agency records show. The cranes are used to move workers and supplies from the Gulf up to the decks of the platforms.


    Oklahoma Oil Worker Struck By Pipe Recovering

    Life took a dramatic change for Booneville native Jacob and his wife Laramie Ashely on Feb. 18.

    Booneville native Jacob Ashley right is home in Charleston withLaramie missed a phone call that night from a phone number she assumed to be from her husband, an oil rig worker in Piedomont, Okla. When she returned the call she learned he husband had been hit with a pipe.

    “His safety guy called me at 8 o’clock that night when it happened, but I missed the call,” said Larmie. “I called back thinking it was just Jacob calling to talk to me. He said ‘your husband was hit in the head with a pipe and we had to take him to the emergency room.’”

    Laramie said she assumed that meant, “he probably had a gash on his head, they’re going to staple it up and he’ll be fine.”

    Jacob, a 24-year old Booneville High School graduate who worked a 14-day session then was off for the same amount of time, was only two days shy of coming home to his home in Charleston to his wife and daughter.

    After the phone call, Laramie arrived at the Oklahoma City trauma center shortly after 11 p.m. to learn the rest of the story.

    The pipe that struck her husband weighed between 650 to 800 pounds, and the damage was extensive.

    Jacob had suffered a broken back — two vertabrae were shattered — he had four broken ribs and he had no feeling in his right arm.

    A single latch elevator is employed to raise pipes into the air, Jacob explains.


    Second Lawsuit Filed Against Companies In Rig Explosion

    A second lawsuit has been filed against the companies involved in the Patterson 219 rig explosion, according to court documents.

    Fires burn at an eastern Oklahoma drilling rig near Quinton Okla. Five people workers were killed after a fiery explosion at a drilling rigTulsa-based attorney Clark Brewster filed the lawsuit in Pittsburg County District Court Friday on behalf of the wife of Roger Cunningham — one of the five men killed in the Jan. 22 rig explosion in Quinton.

    Red Mountain Energy LLC, Red Mountain Operating LLC, Patterson-UTI Drilling Co. LLC, and Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. are listed as the defendants in the petition.

    The lawsuit seeks more than $75,000, plus costs the court deems just and proper.

    The first cause of action claims Roger Cunningham’s death occurred as a direct and proximate result of the negligence, gross negligence, carelessness and recklessness of Red Mountain. The cause continues that Red Mountain owed a duty of care to all those working at the well site, including the duty to implement and maintain safe working conditions.