OSHA has launched an investigation into what caused a drilling rig explosion this past January that left five dead in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma.
An Oklahoma Corporation Commission investigation report said authorities learned at 8:45 a.m. Monday, January 22, that the well was on fire from an uncontrolled gas release.
The report recommended that the operator should kill the well with heavy drilling mud, make sure it is stabilized with mud and cement plugs, and take soil samples by Feb. 23.
Driving-related incidents are the single largest operational cause of fatalities in the oil and gas industry – a circumstance which has prompted the International Organization of Gas Producers (IOGP) to develop guidance about transportation safety for its member companies.
During 2003–2013, the U.S. oil and gas extraction industry experienced unprecedented growth, doubling the size of its workforce and increasing the number of drilling rigs by 71%. To describe fatal events among oil and gas workers during this period, NIOSH analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), a comprehensive database of fatal work injuries.
During 2003-2008, 648 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job (onshore and offshore, combined), resulting in an annual fatality rate of 29.1 deaths per 100,000 workers, over seven times the rate for all US workers.
On May 19th, 2014, NIOSH posted a Science blog titled “Reports of Worker Fatalities during Flowback Operations.” This blog post provided information that NIOSH received from several sources indicating that acute exposures to hydrocarbon gas and vapors likely played a role in the deaths of at least four workers in the oil and gas extraction industry.
An oil field rig exploded in West Texas in March, killing three workers, according to the Associated Press. Investigator Dusty Kilgore of the Upton County Sheriff's Office told AP the accident happened about 40 miles south of Midland.
A narrated computer animation recreating the Deepwater Horizon blowout on April 20, 2010 depicts how high-pressure oil and gas from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico caused an explosion on the drilling rig that killed 11 workers and seriously injured 17 others.