Delaney Tercero, 3, was killed in August of 2018 when a nearby pipeline leaked natural gas into her family's house, resulting in an explosion that injured the entire family and destroyed their home. The state sent investigators to determine if the owners of the pipeline had violated any rules and to discover the cause of the leak. Investigators discovered that the pipeline's anti-corrosion coating had failed and the pipeline had been leaking for "an undetermined length of time." However, investigators found that Targa Resources Corp., the company that owns the pipeline, didn't violate any rules because there are no rules or regulations for this type of pipeline.
A massive explosion along a natural gas pipeline shook houses as far as 60 miles away in Refugio County, Texas last week. The cause of the initial fire that led to the explosion is still under investigation, and no injuries have been reported. The explosion and resulting fireball were reportedly so intense that the light could be seen over 150 miles away.
It has been reported that a large pipeline explosion occurred at an oil and gas facility near Encinal, Texas at approximately 4:15 this morning. The facility's operator, Lewis Energy Group, has issued a statement that no injuries were reported. Photos taken show an orange glow from several miles away, and nearby residents were evacuated to a truck stop further away from the explosion site. The cause of the blast is under investigation.
The number of injuries and environmental disasters along America's roads, pipelines, and railways involving the movement of oil and gas has proliferated in recent years along with domestic production. An enormous explosion in West Virginia on Monday reminds us of the potential hazards of such activity to the communities located along such transport routes.
Last Tuesday, a natural gas pipeline owned by Canadian energy giant Enbridge exploded in Rusk County, Texas. Conner Wilson, 32, of Longview, an employee of Thunderhorse Oilfield Services, was killed in the explosion, leaving behind a wife and four children. The rupture that led to the explosion was reported caused when a mulching machine, apparently operated by Wilson, struck the pipeline.
Onshore oilfields are among the most dangerous workplaces in America, and the Permian Basin of West Texas and southeastern New Mexico is no different. Last week, two oilfield workers were killed in the span of two days in Eddy County, New Mexico. Unfortunately, that was only the second-deadliest week for Eddy County oilfields this year-three were killed in the first week of May.
Texas has by far the most miles of underground natural gas pipelines of any state. Texas also has the greatest number of accidents that occur when these and other underground pipes are damaged or disrupted. Companies that dig, construct, and work around these pipelines have a duty to safely work around these pipelines, the locations of which can be determined by a simple phone call. Nonetheless, these calls are not being made in every instance and are consequently costing the lives of unsuspecting workers and millions of dollars in property damage each year due to blowouts, explosions, and toxic gas leaks.
According to the Texas Tribune, the Keystone XL pipeline is still raising concerns as its operator prepares to start pumping crude oil underground from Cushing, Oklahoma, to refineries on Texas' Gulf Coast. Citizen activists are calling for more testing of the line, saying that warning letters sent by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which regulates interstate pipelines, show the need for concern. However, PHMSA says it has properly vetted the project and sees no reason to delay the segment the project.
The residents of the north Texas town of Milford are only the latest Texans to fall victim to a drilling accident. On November 14th, about 700 residents of the rural north Texas town were evacuated after a Chevron gas pipeline exploded at a drill rig. Though details and an investigation are still pending, incidents similar to this one are the reasons why the occupational fatality rate in the oil and gas industry is seven times higher than the rate of all US workers.
Authorities have not received word yet on any injuries from the gas pipeline explosion that occurred this morning near Milford, Texas. The explosion occurred at a drilling rig near Milford in Ellis County and involved a Chevron pipeline. It was reported that flames shot into the air, and some vehicles at the work site were burned.