Texas crude oil production had hit 2.9 million barrels per day in July of 2013, roughly equal to Brazil's daily production this past year. The boom caused a large influx of workers, resulting in more work-related accidents. Between 2010 and 2014, nearly half of the nations' oil field deaths were in Texas. Most of the fatalities occurred at Eagle Ford Shale in La Salle County. There have been eight reported deaths, including three workers in a single explosion last year. There is speculation that Texas fatality numbers are higher than reported. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) currently has investigations open regarding hazardous incidents, but their findings are not available to the public yet. OHSA often levies citations and fines to companies that fail to follow regulations that could create a hazardous work environment.
As oil prices decline, are producers cutting safety expenses? It may be too early to tell, but the death of three oil field workers last week in West Texas is troubling.
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.
As oil and gas extraction jobs skyrocket across the south, so have fatalities and injuries associated with them. According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 142 fatalities reported in 2012, an energy industry high.
A high-pressure explosion at an oil well in Loving County, Texas killed two contractors and injured nine more on Wednesday, April 30. The two workers, identified as Amos B. Ortega, 46, and Roberto Andrade Magdaleno, 41, both of New Mexico, worked for Ameriflow Energy Services, a subsidiary of Crescent Services, an oilfield services company working under contract with RKI Exploration & Production, the owner of the well.
Two oil well workers died and nine others were injured after a high pressure explosion occurred at an oil wellhead in west Texas. The two bodies were found about 20 feet from a well head that was being replaced. The Loving County sheriff identified the dead as Amos Ortega of Artesia, New Mexico and Roberto Andrade of El Paso, Texas. The explosion site is about 12 miles from Oria, Texas and six miles south of New Mexico. Abraham Watkins is currently handling cases involving oil field explosions.
The boom that has brought prosperity to Texas has left a trail of death and devastation for many of the more 100,000 workers in oil and gas exploration jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, in 2012 the death toll peaked at 65,000, which was a 10 year high and nearly 60 percent more than 2011. For 22 years the federal government has failed to implement safety standards and procedures for onshore oil and gas drilling, even as offshore accidents have been on the rise. Abraham Watkins is currently handling cases involving oil field explosions.
A Halliburton employee died while servicing a well on a North Dakota oil rig in January. As a result of the unsafe work conditions present at the time of his death, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a $14,000 fine to the company for two serious safety violations.
Earlier this week, we talked about a fatal oil rig accident that claimed the life of a 40-year-old West Texas man. Another oil worker has also been fatally injured in a serious oilfield accident in the last week. A 59-year-old was pinned under a large heater tank and received fatal crush injuries in the oil-related accident in Athlon Yard.
According to a story from KMOT-TV in Minot, North Dakota, over 80 percent of oil field injuries happen to employees who are in their first year on the job. This information comes from the North Dakota Workforce Insurance and Safety department. The signs show that new workers might not be receiving the on-the-job training they need. "It goes down dramatically after that first year. 80 percent is the highest of all major industries in the state", says Dakota M.E.P Director Randy Schwartz.