• Oilfield News

    Jury Awards $20 Million To Families Of Men Killed In Rig Explosion

    Two years after a deadly rig explosion in Quinton, two families have been awarded millions of dollars in a wrongful death lawsuit.

    (Top left to right) Josh Ray, Matthew Smith, Cody Risk, (Bottom left to right) Parker Waldridge, and Roger Cunningham.On January 22, 2018, five men were killed after a rig exploded outside of Quinton.

    Authorities say there were 22 workers on the well site, which was being drilled by Houston-based Patterson-UTI Energy, at the time of the explosion.

    Officials identified the victims as 35-year-old Josh Ray, 29-year-old Matthew Smith, 26-year-old Cody Risk, 60-year-old Parker Waldridge and 55-year-old Roger Cunningham.

    “This was the deadliest U.S. drilling accident since the 2010 deep-water horizon rig explosion which killed 11 workers,” said U.S. Chemical Safety Board  interim executive Dr. Kristin Kulinowski.

    Officials with the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office say that the remains of all five workers were found in the last place the men were seen working, which is where the fire initially started.


    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Peak Permian Is Approaching Faster Than You Think

    The heart of America’s oil renaissance is found in the Permian basin, which is showing signs of maturing fast. And for shale basins, that’s not a good thing. If the rich petroleum region wanes, U.S. oil independence will remain elusive and the OPEC cartel may finally see off its greatest threat.

    Permian BoomThe Permian, spread across west Texas and southeast New Mexico, yields more than a third of all U.S. oil production and it has contributed about two-thirds of the past three years’ worth of growth. Its boom has allowed America to export more than 3 million barrels a day of crude on a regular basis since May — more than every OPEC country except Saudi Arabia and Iraq. But the U.S. still imports twice that volume. A slowdown in the Permian would see that gap widen again.

    Output from the region, where oil was first discovered by W.H. Abrams a century ago with a well that produced just 10 barrels a day, is hitting new heights. Production has continued to grow in recent months despite a drop in the number of rigs drilling in the basin, which fell by 17% last year, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, as the chart above shows. But that cannot last forever.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    ConocoPhillips Prepares To Deploy ‘The Beast’ On The North Slope

    With the help of an Alaska Native corporation and state logistics experts, ConocoPhillips is about to employ a piece of equipment on the North Slope that should be the envy of oil drillers everywhere.

    Doyon Drilling Rig 26 is seen being assembled at Deadhorse after being trekked in hundreds of pieces from its manufacturing location just outside of Edmonton AlbertaConocoPhillips and Doyon Drilling Inc. are in the final stages of more than three years of work to employ Doyon’s Rig 26 on the North Slope.

    ConocoPhillips Alaska leaders have said that it would help transform oil development in Alaska since October 2016 when a contract between the companies to build the extended reach drilling rig was announced.

    That’s because Rig 26, known inside the company as “The Beast," is simply bigger and more powerful than any other mobile land-based drilling rig on the continent, according to ConocoPhillips.

    The company says Rig 26 will be able drill up to 37,000 feet, or more than seven miles, out from the pad it sits on when it goes to work in a few months. Current North Slope rigs, which have advanced dramatically in recent years, have a maximum reach of about 22,000 feet, according to ConocoPhillips.

    Looked at another way, Rig 26 will have a reach of 154 square miles from a 14-acre drilling pad, compared to existing rigs that generally have a reach of about 55 square miles, according to ConocoPhillips.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    2 Years After Oklahoma Well Explosion Killed 5, Safety Rules Remain Much The Same

    Two years ago, an oil well near a small Oklahoma town exploded into a fireball that swept through a drilling rig, killing five in an accident deemed a needless catastrophe by federal investigators and casting a short-lived spotlight on a lack of regulation and oversight across the oil and gas industry.

    Quinton Oklahoma drilling rig explosion that killed 5The accident involving a Houston drilling company was the industry’s deadliest since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy 10 years ago, but the response to the Oklahoma explosion has been far less urgent. While the Gulf of Mexico explosion, which killed 11, spurred a drilling moratorium and a wave of new regulations, the Oklahoma disaster entered the national headlines for a brief spell and was quickly forgotten — even after the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board found widespread failures and a woeful lack lack of safety standards and rules in the onshore drilling sector.

    What has happened since then? Not much.

    “Onshore is sort of a black hole,” said Lauren Grim, a supervisory investigator at the Chemical Safety Board. “There’s not really a whole lot of rules and regulations for safety on the state and federal levels, and that’s what we’re trying to correct.”

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Three Oilfield Companies Charged In Sour Gas Leak

    The Alberta Energy Regulator has charged three companies for allegedly releasing toxic gas that “impacted human health” near a town in the northwestern region of the province in 2018.

    H2S GasThe gas was hydrogen sulphide, a toxic substance that smells like rotten eggs and can be fatal in high doses, the regulator said Monday. The charges are against Calgary-based natural gas producer Tourmaline Oil, a Tourmaline-controlled spinoff company called Topaz and CWC Energy Services Corp., a drilling and well-servicing company.

    The gas was released on Feb. 25, 2018, near Spirit River, a northwest Alberta town that’s a five-hour drive from Edmonton.

    In a press release, the AER didn’t elaborate on how the hydrogen sulphide affected human health. Also known as H2S or sour gas, hydrogen sulphide can sometimes leak from the wellheads, pump jacks, pipes, tanks and flare stacks of oilfields.

    The Alberta Energy Regulator has charged three companies for allegedly releasing toxic gas that “impacted human health” near a town in the northwestern region of the province in 2018.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

  • Jury Awards $20 Million To Families Of Men Killed In Rig Explosion

    Two years after a deadly rig explosion in Quinton, two families have been awarded millions of dollars in a wrongful death lawsuit.

    (Top left to right) Josh Ray, Matthew Smith, Cody Risk, (Bottom left to right) Parker Waldridge, and Roger Cunningham.On January 22, 2018, five men were killed after a rig exploded outside of Quinton.

    Authorities say there were 22 workers on the well site, which was being drilled by Houston-based Patterson-UTI Energy, at the time of the explosion.

    Officials identified the victims as 35-year-old Josh Ray, 29-year-old Matthew Smith, 26-year-old Cody Risk, 60-year-old Parker Waldridge and 55-year-old Roger Cunningham.

    “This was the deadliest U.S. drilling accident since the 2010 deep-water horizon rig explosion which killed 11 workers,” said U.S. Chemical Safety Board  interim executive Dr. Kristin Kulinowski.

    Officials with the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office say that the remains of all five workers were found in the last place the men were seen working, which is where the fire initially started.


    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Peak Permian Is Approaching Faster Than You Think

    The heart of America’s oil renaissance is found in the Permian basin, which is showing signs of maturing fast. And for shale basins, that’s not a good thing. If the rich petroleum region wanes, U.S. oil independence will remain elusive and the OPEC cartel may finally see off its greatest threat.

    Permian BoomThe Permian, spread across west Texas and southeast New Mexico, yields more than a third of all U.S. oil production and it has contributed about two-thirds of the past three years’ worth of growth. Its boom has allowed America to export more than 3 million barrels a day of crude on a regular basis since May — more than every OPEC country except Saudi Arabia and Iraq. But the U.S. still imports twice that volume. A slowdown in the Permian would see that gap widen again.

    Output from the region, where oil was first discovered by W.H. Abrams a century ago with a well that produced just 10 barrels a day, is hitting new heights. Production has continued to grow in recent months despite a drop in the number of rigs drilling in the basin, which fell by 17% last year, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, as the chart above shows. But that cannot last forever.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    ConocoPhillips Prepares To Deploy ‘The Beast’ On The North Slope

    With the help of an Alaska Native corporation and state logistics experts, ConocoPhillips is about to employ a piece of equipment on the North Slope that should be the envy of oil drillers everywhere.

    Doyon Drilling Rig 26 is seen being assembled at Deadhorse after being trekked in hundreds of pieces from its manufacturing location just outside of Edmonton AlbertaConocoPhillips and Doyon Drilling Inc. are in the final stages of more than three years of work to employ Doyon’s Rig 26 on the North Slope.

    ConocoPhillips Alaska leaders have said that it would help transform oil development in Alaska since October 2016 when a contract between the companies to build the extended reach drilling rig was announced.

    That’s because Rig 26, known inside the company as “The Beast," is simply bigger and more powerful than any other mobile land-based drilling rig on the continent, according to ConocoPhillips.

    The company says Rig 26 will be able drill up to 37,000 feet, or more than seven miles, out from the pad it sits on when it goes to work in a few months. Current North Slope rigs, which have advanced dramatically in recent years, have a maximum reach of about 22,000 feet, according to ConocoPhillips.

    Looked at another way, Rig 26 will have a reach of 154 square miles from a 14-acre drilling pad, compared to existing rigs that generally have a reach of about 55 square miles, according to ConocoPhillips.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    2 Years After Oklahoma Well Explosion Killed 5, Safety Rules Remain Much The Same

    Two years ago, an oil well near a small Oklahoma town exploded into a fireball that swept through a drilling rig, killing five in an accident deemed a needless catastrophe by federal investigators and casting a short-lived spotlight on a lack of regulation and oversight across the oil and gas industry.

    Quinton Oklahoma drilling rig explosion that killed 5The accident involving a Houston drilling company was the industry’s deadliest since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy 10 years ago, but the response to the Oklahoma explosion has been far less urgent. While the Gulf of Mexico explosion, which killed 11, spurred a drilling moratorium and a wave of new regulations, the Oklahoma disaster entered the national headlines for a brief spell and was quickly forgotten — even after the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board found widespread failures and a woeful lack lack of safety standards and rules in the onshore drilling sector.

    What has happened since then? Not much.

    “Onshore is sort of a black hole,” said Lauren Grim, a supervisory investigator at the Chemical Safety Board. “There’s not really a whole lot of rules and regulations for safety on the state and federal levels, and that’s what we’re trying to correct.”

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Three Oilfield Companies Charged In Sour Gas Leak

    The Alberta Energy Regulator has charged three companies for allegedly releasing toxic gas that “impacted human health” near a town in the northwestern region of the province in 2018.

    H2S GasThe gas was hydrogen sulphide, a toxic substance that smells like rotten eggs and can be fatal in high doses, the regulator said Monday. The charges are against Calgary-based natural gas producer Tourmaline Oil, a Tourmaline-controlled spinoff company called Topaz and CWC Energy Services Corp., a drilling and well-servicing company.

    The gas was released on Feb. 25, 2018, near Spirit River, a northwest Alberta town that’s a five-hour drive from Edmonton.

    In a press release, the AER didn’t elaborate on how the hydrogen sulphide affected human health. Also known as H2S or sour gas, hydrogen sulphide can sometimes leak from the wellheads, pump jacks, pipes, tanks and flare stacks of oilfields.

    The Alberta Energy Regulator has charged three companies for allegedly releasing toxic gas that “impacted human health” near a town in the northwestern region of the province in 2018.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Halliburton Takes $2.2 Billion Charge On Shale Slump

    U.S. oilfield services firm Halliburton Co. on Tuesday disclosed a $2.2 billion charge to earnings as weakening North American shale activity continued to hit the industry.

    Halliburton has acknowledged it needs to reorganize its business in the U.S.The charge for asset impairments was centered on hydraulic fracturing and legacy drilling equipment units, and employee severance costs, the company said. Halliburton dismissed 8% of its North American staff at mid-year, and later cut staff across several western U.S. states.

    U.S. producers are pulling back on drilling and completing wells, pressured by investor demands to focus on debt reduction and returns.

    Rival Schlumberger NV on Friday said it cut more than 1,400 workers, and would idle 50% of its hydraulic fracturing equipment due to weak demand. Fracking applies high pressure to release trapped oil and gas in shale wells.

    Schlumberger last year recorded a $12-billion charge to earnings and U.S. oil major Chevron Corp took an at least $10 billion charge on projects that were no longer economic to tap.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Jury Selected In Civil Trial Over Quinton Explosion

    A jury of nine women and five men, including alternates, was selected for the trial of consolidated lawsuits against an oil and gas contractor involved in the 2018 well fire and explosion in Quinton.

    File photoAttorneys agreed Monday to a jury in consolidated wrongful death lawsuits against National Oilwell Varco stemming from the January 2018 Pryor Trust well fire and explosion that killed five men. The trial in the case started Monday in Pittsburg County District Judge Mike Hogan’s courtroom.

    Potential jurors were asked about their knowledge of the case, if that would impact their judgment, if they were comfortable with the amount of damages in the case, if their personal beliefs would allow them to pass judgment, if they knew anyone involved in the case, and more.

    Hogan ordered Jan. 10 that files in the case were restricted from public viewing until the completion of the jury trial.

    Court documents show NOV is the last defendant listed in five lawsuits resulting from the fatal 2018 incident after five families agreed to settlements with Red Mountain Operating, LLC; Red Mountain Energy, LLC; Patterson-UTI Drilling Company, LLC; Patterson-UTI Energy Inc., and other defendants.

    Documents state NOV designed and manufactured the doghouse where the five men took shelter during the incident.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Enterprise Offshore Drilling Laying Off Dozens Of Offshore Oil Workers

    Houston oilfield service company Enterprise Offshore Drilling is laying off more than five dozen oil-rig workers in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Houston oilfield service company Enterprise Offshore Drilling is laying off more than 60 workers assigned to an offshore rig operated by a client in the Gulf of MexicoIn a letter filed with the Texas Workforce Commission, Enterprise reported that the company is laying off 61 people working aboard Enven Energy's DD 202 offshore drilling rig about 100 miles off shore. Enven is shutting down the rig Jan. 31, Enterprise Offshore Drilling Vice President of Human Resources Amy Warner wrote in her letter.

    The layoffs began in November and are expected to be completed by the end of February.

    In a statement, EnVen said the rig release was planned and followed the successful completion of a nearly two-and-a-half-year drilling program and not as a result of a downturn.

    Houston oilfield service company Enterprise Offshore Drilling is laying off more than five dozen oil-rig workers in the Gulf of Mexico.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Apache Corp To Close San Antonio Office, Cut 272 Jobs

    U.S. oil and gas producer Apache Corp will close its San Antonio, Texas office overseeing its struggling Alpine High project in the Permian basin and 272 jobs will be affected.

    Apache closing San Antonio office  laying off 272 workersThe closure follows the October resignation of Steven Keenan, the former senior vice president of worldwide exploration who was widely credited with the Alpine High discovery in 2016.

    Alpine High has been hit by weak natural gas prices, which prompted the company to temporarily halt production in the third quarter, reduce drilling in the region, and said it would reassign capital to other areas if prices did not recover.

    Weak commodity prices have also forced other companies in the oil and gas industry to find ways to shore up their cash reserves amid heavy investor pressure to boost returns and reduce debt.

    Reuters reported in October that oilfield services firm Halliburton cut 650 jobs across Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and North Dakota and later in December closed plants in Oklahoma and California.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Colorado-Well Pad Shut Down After 7 Workers Injured In Fire

    Seven contractor workers were injured in a fire at the Regnier Farms well pad in unincorporated Weld County late Monday night, according to a statement from Crestone Peak Resources, which operates the site.

    Location Of Oil Site FireMountain View Fire responded to the site near Weld County Road 20 1/2 near E. County Line Road around 8:30 p.m., according to Chief David Beebe. That's about a mile and a half south of Highway 119 near Longmont.

    All of the injured workers suffered burns and were taken to the hospital, but none have life-threatening injuries, according to Crestone Peak. Four of the injured have since been released from the hospital, Mountain View Fire said. 

    There's no indication at this time about what caused the fire.

    Crestone Peak said the well pad will be shut down until the cause is determined and they're certain it's safe to resume work.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Three Workers Injured In Explosion At Oilfield Site In Southeast Wyoming

    Three workers suffered severe burns Thursday night in multiple explosions and a fire at an oil and gas site in southeast Wyoming. 

    Firefighters work the scene of an explosion at an oilfield compressor station in southeast WyomingThe workers sustained severe burns when an oilfield compressor station exploded west of Carpenter, according to Laramie County Fire District No. 4. One was airlifted to Western States Burn Center in Greeley, Colorado, said Laramie County Fire District No. 4 Fire Chief Scott Maddison. The two others were taken by ambulance to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center and then transported to Greeley. 

    "Those guys have a long road ahead," Maddison said Friday. 

    As of Friday afternoon, the workers were in stable condition and able to speak to their families.

    Maddison received a call to respond to the incident at 7:28 p.m. Thursday. The one witness on the scene was an employee who did not sustain injuries. He heard a "pop, pop" and went to shut off the gas.

    "When he turned around, he heard another explosion and it was like a huge fire ball," Maddison said. The fire chief was informed the fire was likely caused by a natural gas leak.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Husky Energy Confirms 370 Job Cuts

    About 370 jobs have been cut at Husky Energy Inc. this year with most of the reductions coming in a major round of layoffs in October, CEO Rob Peabody revealed on a conference call Monday to discuss the company's guidance for 2020 and 2021.

    Husky Energy Announces LayoffsThe Calgary-based company had refused previously to say how many workers were affected by job cuts designed to better align its workforce with lower capital spending plans going forward.

    "What we're seeing is that (the reductions) will generate forward savings of about $70 million ... per year," said Peabody, adding the company will take a charge against earnings of $70 million in the fourth quarter to account for the cuts.

    "We're going to continue those efforts to capitalize on the fact we've created a more focused and a simpler company."

    In a regulatory filing earlier this year, Husky said it had 5,157 permanent employees at the end of 2018, little changed from the numbers at the end of 2016 and 2017.

    Capital spending for 2020 and 2021 is being cut by $500 million compared with guidance released last spring due to what Husky called changing market conditions.

    The budget for 2020 is to fall by about $100 million to between $3.2 billion and $3.4 billion, while the following year it will drop by an additional $400 million.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Pumpco Services In Odessa Lays Off 112 Workers Due To Declining Rig Activity

    About 112 workers at Pumpco Energy Services in Odessa were laid off Nov. 25, according to a bulletin released Monday from the Texas Workforce Commission.

    A drilling rig works near the southern edge of the famous Permian Basin region of TexasThe advisory, which also showed 85 layoffs from National Oilwell Varco in Harris County, comes after several weeks of declining rig activity in the Permian Basin, according to reports from Baker-Hughes.

    Founded in 1982, Pumpco Energy Services specializes in pressure pumping for the fracking and completion end of the oil business, and the company was among the first to unbundle proppant and logistics as part of their business strategy.

    The company has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Superior Energy Services of Houston since that company’s merger with Complete Energy Services in 2012.

    Source: Go San Angelo

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Halliburton Closes El Reno Oklahoma Facility-Over 800 Jobs Lost

    The oilfield company, Halliburton, told the City of El Reno it is closing its facility there and more than 800 workers will be permanently laid off.

    Halliburton Closes El Reno Oklahoma FacilityThe company asked El Reno police officers to watch the entrances Monday as workers left for the last time.

    The mass lay-off was announced just weeks before Christmas.

    “I think the people of El Reno are strong," said El Reno's Mayor Matt White. "I think they are resilient to this deal. Of course, we feel for those 808 people who have lost their jobs around Christmas time, it’s just terrible."

    Not all of the 808 workers live in the city limits, but White says losing them will hurt local businesses.

    “It is absolutely going to affect our community," White said. "It’s going to affect our restaurants, it’s going to affect our small businesses here in our community. At lunchtime those guys are full, the hotels are full with Halliburton trucks. It’s going to affect us."

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Grand Jury Indicts Oilfield Company For Felonies After Workers Say They Were Injured By Chemical Release

    A grand jury in Anchorage on Tuesday indicted Baker Hughes oilfield service companies and a Baker Hughes manager on several counts of assault after five workers with a construction crew said they were injured in a chemical release during an incident that is alleged to have taken place in Kenai in 2014.

    Grand jury indicts GE s Baker Hughes for exposing workers to toxic chemicalsThe 25 felony counts in the indictment include 10 counts of first-degree assault. The companies face up to $2.5 million in fines for the most serious charges if convicted, the Alaska Department of Law said in a statement on Wednesday.

    John Clyde Willis, a manager for Baker Hughes, faces up to 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for the most serious charges if convicted, the statement said.

    In 2014, during the construction of a new chemical transfer facility, the workers allegedly were repeatedly exposed to toxic chemical releases from the existing chemical transfer facility, the statement said, citing the indictment.

    The indictment also claims that Houston, Texas-based Baker Hughes, along with Baker Petrolite, Baker Hughes Oilfield Services, and Willis, “failed to provide safety information regarding the chemicals used on site and failed to respond to repeated complaints by workers about the chemical exposures until May 8, 2014, when several workers were sent to the hospital because of a large exposure event.”

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