Drilling for oil is an inherently dangerous job, with a fatality rate nearly five times that of all industries in the United States combined. As the oil and gas industry continues rising, the number of people employed increase-along with production pressures and the temptation to cut corners. In Texas, oil and gas firms employ over 2,400 more people than they did a year ago, putting more people in the path of explosive gases, dangerous machinery, and cancer-causing chemicals.
On the morning of July 6, 2018, Karen Reed was having her coffee at her home in Porter, Texas. "I heard a metal on metal noise, a boom. When I heard it I looked at my son who lives next door and said, 'baby that can't be good,'" Reed said.
On June 26, 2018, a small 25-bed hospital in Gatesville, Texas, was the scene of a terrible, but likely avoidable tragedy. Fifteen construction workers suffered burns and shrapnel injuries when an electric generator exploded. Construction worker Michael Bruggman, 44, was killed in the explosion. Questions remain as to whether this tragedy was the result of a faulty natural gas line, or from an issue with the generator itself.
One worker is dead and another lost a limb after an accident occurred on an oil rig near McCook, Texas. The injured worker remains in critical condition. The drilling site was on Moorefield Road, south of FM 490 near McCook. The incident occurred on September 25, 2017.
One worker has died and three remain injured as a result of a recent tank battery explosion in Mead, Colorado. The explosion occurred after the workers completed upgrades to the tank battery. A tank battery is a group of connected tanks that receive produced crude oil from a well. The owner, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., stated that the Mead facility was not in service at the time of the blast.
Falls cause more deaths in construction than any other hazard, accounting for one-third of on-the-job injury deaths in the industry. Workers who are performing jobs 6 feet or higher on ladders, scaffolds, and roofs are at risk of falling and sustaining serious injuries or even death.
The Permian Basin has proven itself to be a hot spot for oil and gas in the United States. It is reported that there has been a recent burst of oil and gas deals concentrated in West Texas' Permian Basin. This has occurred despite the downturn, and now slowly rising, prices in oil per barrel. The newly stricken deals have really emphasized how the Permian Basin is a top-shelf basin. Experts say that not only is the Permian Basin's drilling costs among the cheapest in the United States, the layers of shale drilling areas go significantly deeper underground than in other regions. With that being said, drillers have put into operation, several additional drilling rigs. As of today's date, there are more than 265 drilling rigs in the Permian Basin, accounting for more than 50% of the country's active drilling rigs.
Firm partner Benny Agosto, Jr. filed a new lawsuit on behalf of the wife and family of a worker who lost his life in an excavation/trench collapse earlier this year. The man's employer has been sued for gross negligence in the lawsuit filed by Mr. Agosto.