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    Featured Oilfield News

    Texas-Rig Workers Injured By Tornado Near Canadian Are Identified

    2015-05-28

    Three Weatherford contractors were injured when a tornado struck the drilling rig they were working on late yesterday afternoon near Canadian. The three men were working for Cactus Drilling Rig #121 on an Apache location near the Nix Ranch.

    Hemphill County Sheriff James Pearson confirmed yesterday that at least one tornado touched down north of Canadian and struck a drilling rig, adding that there was extensive damage to the doghouses on the location.

    Pearson reported the three victims’ identities today. They are:

    Texas-3 Injured As Tornado Hits Drilling Rig Near Canadian

    2015-05-28

    At least three people were injured on Wednesday when a tornado hit a natural gas drilling rig in northern Texas, the Hemphill County sheriff and a hospital official said.

    One victim sustained minor injuries, the second had non-life-threatening injuries to the face, and the third suffered "an impalement to the abdomen," Hemphill County Sheriff James Pearson said in a statement.

    Two of the more seriously injured were transported to a hospital in Amarillo and one was treated at Hemphill County Hospital in Canadian, Hemphill Hospital Chief Executive Christy Francis said.

    Pemex: 2 workers dead in oil rig accident in Gulf of Mexico

    2015-05-05

    Mexican oil company Pemex said an accident on Tuesday has left an offshore maintenance rig in the southern Bay of Campeche listing, killing two workers, but has not affected crude production.

    Pemex said the Troll Solution rig, which was contracted to operate in Pemex's Abkatun-Pol-Chuc shallow water oil field, was positioning itself to carry out maintenance on wells linked to the Caan Alf platform.

    It earlier reported that two workers had suffered minor injuries.

    More US Oil And Gas Companies Expected To Default On Loans Amid Lower Oil Prices, US Banks Say

    2015-05-05

    Roughnecks wrestle pipe on a True Company oil drilling rig outside Watford, North Dakota.U.S. oil and gas companies borrowed heavily at the start of America’s energy boom, and now they're struggling with the debt. Oil prices were around $100 a barrel in 2008, and advanced drilling techniques were making it easier than ever to tap new reserves. Taking out billions of dollars in loans to boost production seemed like a safe bet at the time. And then, crude prices collapsed in 2014.

    Now, U.S. banks say they expect more delinquencies and charge-offs from energy companies throughout 2015. With oil prices expected to stay around $60 to $70 a barrel this year, lenders are preemptively cutting credit lines to oil and gas firms and requiring more collateral to protect against a surge of defaults, according to a Federal Reserve survey cited by the Wall Street Journal this week.

    Banks “indicated that their exposures were small, and that they were undertaking a number of actions to mitigate the risk of loan losses,” senior loan officers at commercial banks told the Fed in a report on loan terms and standards for the first quarter of 2015.

    Oilfield services workers continue to face layoffs

    2015-04-27

    Zach Lugibihl, from left, and brothers K.C. and Dusty Sutton, all of Nine Energy Service, prepare to install a blow out preventer July 7, 2014, on a new well south of Stanley, N.D., that has been fracked and needs to be cleaned out before it produces oilA few weeks ago, a man walked into Command Center, a temporary labor and staffing service in downtown Dickinson, and said he needed a job after being laid off from a high-paying position on an oil rig.The man said he'd only work for $35 an hour, needed a minimum of 50 hours guaranteed each week, and wanted his housing paid for along with a $150 a day per diem.

    After realizing the man wasn't joking, staffing specialist Rena Olheiser responded in the kindest manner she could muster.

    "Well good luck with that," she said with a smile.

    Driller Patterson-UTI to pay $14.5 million to settle EEOC discrimination suit

    2015-04-21

    Federal Agency Resolves Lawsuit Alleging Employer Tolerated Discrimination on Drilling Rigs, Punished Victims for Complaining

     

    Patterson-UTI Drilling Company LLC, a Snyder, Texas-based multistate oil drilling company, will pay $14.5 million and furnish other relief to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and to resolve several cases through separate conciliation agreements, the agency announced today.  The EEOC charged the company with race and national origin discrimination, harassment and retaliation at its facilities throughout the country.

    Halliburton warns of weakness in North America, international operations

    2015-04-20

    Halliburton facility sits behind a barbed wire fence on the outskirts of Williston, North Dakota January 23, 2015.Halliburton Company warned of pricing pressure for its oilfield services in North America, its largest market, and challenges in its international operations, as an extended slump in oil prices continues to force drillers to slash spending.

    The company posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Monday, helped by higher revenue and operating income from Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.

    However, revenue and profit from all other regions fell due to the global slump in oil prices LCOc1 CLc1, which have nearly halved since peaking last June.

    U.S. Oil-Rig Retreat Extends to 19th Week With Drop of 26

    2015-04-19

    U.S. crude explorers idled rigs for an unprecedented 19th straight week, bringing drilling in America’s oil fields to the lowest level since November 2010.

    Rigs targeting oil in the U.S. fell by 26 to 734, the Houston-based field services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday. Producers idled nine in the Mississippian of Oklahoma and Kansas, the steepest decline of all major oil plays. The Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico, the nation’s biggest oil field, dropped five.

    The six-month retreat in oil drilling is bringing the U.S. shale boom to a halt, with crude production falling twice in three weeks and the government projecting a decline in output from tight-rock formations next month. The country has lost more than half of its oil rigs since October as drillers cut spending and let go of thousands of workers following the worst collapse in prices since 2009.

    Schlumberger Cuts More Jobs as Oil Industry Braces for Next Wave

    2015-04-17

    The muddied workers from Schlumberger Ltd., wearing a safety hard hat moves drilling pipes near to a rig at the geothermal energy drilling site in Villejuif, France.Schlumberger Ltd., the world’s largest oilfield services provider, will eliminate an additional 11,000 positions in a sign the industry will undergo another round of job cuts as a result of tumbling crude prices.

    The latest announced reductions bring the company’s total to 20,000, making its workforce about 15 percent smaller than it was during the third quarter of 2014. Schlumberger had announced plans in January to eliminate 9,000 positions, in what was then the single largest cut in the industry.

    Energy producers who rely on service providers are estimated to cut spending $114 billion this year, according to Cowen & Co. Worldwide, the industry had announced about 100,000 job cuts after Brent crude prices fell by half from a June high. While Schlumberger and its competitors were the first to bear the brunt of cutbacks after the drop in oil prices, explorers and producers could begin making deeper job cuts, said Rob Desai, an analyst at Edward Jones in St. Louis.

    Oilfield Layoffs Hit 100,000 and Counting

    2015-04-16

    Like many other oil-field workers, Chris Sabulsky spent years working a schedule known as "14 on, 14 off:" two weeks at an oil or gas well somewhere followed by another 14 days at home in East Texas, fishing for bass and crappie.

    But now Mr. Sabulsky, 48 years old, is spending his days sending out résumés, calling acquaintances to see if they know of job openings, and pondering his future. His job managing hydraulic-fracturing, or fracking, operations at well sites evaporated in February after the oil-price plunge last year. Fracking, which uses water, chemicals and sand to free oil and gas from shale formations, has been a crucial factor in the U.S. energy boom.

    "What we have to do is rebudget ourselves, re-educate ourselves, reinvent ourselves," Mr. Sabulsky said by telephone from his home in Tyler, Texas.

    REPORTS OF WORKER FATALITIES DURING MANUAL TANK GAUGING AND SAMPLING

    2015-04-15

    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. The four workers were employed in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana. Specific activities the workers had in common at the time of death included manual tank gauging of production tanks or transferring production fluids at the well site.

    Since the time of the original blog posting, NIOSH researchers, along with officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and members of the academic community, have continued to investigate these and other reports of worker deaths associated with manual tank gauging and sampling operations in the oil and gas extraction industry. Through this investigation, NIOSH researchers have now identified nine fatalities of oil and gas extraction workers from January 2010 to December 2014 associated with tank gauging or sampling. The degree of detailed information about each case varies but all have in common manually gauging or sampling production tanks at oil and gas well sites. Additionally, the possibility of death caused by exposures to hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas commonly found in oil and gas formations, was ruled out for these cases. A tool in this ongoing investigation is NIOSH’s Fatalities in the Oil and Gas Extraction Industry (FOG) Database which collects detailed information on fatal events in this industry. NIOSH has recently updated the FOG webpage to include a report that provides further details on each case.

    When hatches on production tanks are opened by a worker, a plume of hydrocarbon gases and vapors can be rapidly released due to the internal pressure present in the tank. These gases and vapors can include benzene, a carcinogen, as well as low molecular weight hydrocarbons such as ethane, propane, and butane. In addition to asphyxiation and explosive hazards, exposure to high concentrations of these low molecular weight hydrocarbons can have narcotic effects, resulting in disorientation, dizziness, light-headedness and other effects; recommendations have been made that a maximum exposure limit be set at 10% of the lower explosive limit (LEL) for light hydrocarbon gases in recognition of both the narcotic and explosive hazards.[i],[ii] Case reports of sudden death following butane and propane inhalation have suggested cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), hypoxia (a state of insufficient oxygen supply), and respiratory depression (reduced breathing rate and inadequate ventilation of the lungs).[iii]

    Shell Plans $70 Billion Purchase of BG Group

    2015-04-08

    Shell Plans $70 Billion Purchase of BG Group

    Merger of energy giants will boost natural gas, continue controversial Arctic oil speculation.

    Lower oil prices have prompted the energy sector's biggest deal in at least a decade, a $70 billion merger that creates one of the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas providers as companies look to cut costs to adapt to a petroleum market in which no recovery is in sight.

    Nabors Subsidiary Placed On Nation's Most Dangerous Employers OSHA List Over Death Of Worker

    2015-04-08

    Dustin Payne Killed In Williston Welding Explosion

    Below article from Chron

    The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has placed Nabors Completion and Production Services Co. on its list of the nation's most dangerous employers after finding the company could have prevented a massive explosion that killed a 28-year-old Marine combat veteran in October 2014.

    Texas-Oilfield Worker's Death Ruled Accident Due To Exposure To Hydrogen Sulfide Gas

    2015-04-07

     

    Gregory Claxton Killed By Exposure To H2S GasThe death in February of oil hauler Gregory Claxton has been ruled accidental caused by exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S).

    Montague County Sheriff Department Investigator Chris Hughes said he received the toxicology results for the 29-year-old Nocona man on Wednesday.

    SandRidge Energy to lay off 132

    2015-04-02

    Sandridge Energy To Continue Lay-OffsSandRidge Energy Inc. CEO James Bennett said Thursday the company is laying off 132 employees, or about 20 percent of the workforce at the Oklahoma City headquarters.

    The announcement follows after SandRidge laid off 265 employees earlier this year in the Permian Basin of west Texas.

    "Market conditions continue to dictate that we take proactive steps to preserve the financial strength of the company," Bennett said in a statement. "Aligning the size of our workforce with the realities of a lower commodity price, reducing our capital budget and focusing our ongoing efforts on innovation and efficiency provides us a path forward in this market. We are making great strides in lowering our well costs while maintaining our commitment to safety and sound business practices. As a result, although today is a difficult day, we believe there is ample reason to be optimistic about the future of SandRidge even with sustained lower oil prices."

    More than 4,000 pounds of marijuana found hidden in oilfield equipment

    2015-04-02

    When state troopers stopped a tractor-trailer Monday in Starr County, they sensed something wasn’t right — and they smelled something wrong.Troopers stopped the 2005 Freightliner, which was pulling a 1998 Wilson flatbed trailer loaded with a pressure washer skid, on U.S. 83 near Roma, according to federal court records.

    The driver, Carlos A. Lozano, 42, of Pasadena, Texas, claimed he was driving from McAllen to Carrizo Springs to deliver the pressure washer, according to federal court records. Troopers checked his story, which fell flat.

    Not only was the company not expecting a pressure washer delivery, but they don’t use pressure washers at the Carrizo Springs location, according to federal court records.

    Four dead, 16 injured in fiery blast at Mexico oil rig

    2015-04-01


    Four dead, 16 injured in fiery blast at Mexico oil rig

    An explosion and a fire erupted on an offshore oil platform operated by Mexico's Pemex on Wednesday, killing at least four workers, injuring 16 and forcing 300 to be evacuated.

    Eight firefighting vessels were battling the raging blaze at the Abkatun A-Permanente platform on the Gulf of Mexico's Campeche Sound, the state-run firm said in a statement.

    Oil rig worker to take on Chevron over injuries

    2015-03-31

    Chevron will be heading to the courtroom over an accident on one of its Gulf of Mexico rigs last year.

    The Southeast Texas Record reports that Kennedy Tasker, a Louisiana oil rig worker, has filed a lawsuit against the oil giant for an incident that took place on March 22, 2014. According to the suit filed in Galveston on March 13, 2015, Tasker suffered a multitude of injuries while cutting a pipe. He had been instructed to cut the pipe in the process of demolishing a fire hydrant on a fixed platform.

    Tasker asserts that he was unaware the pipe was still filled with raw crude oil, which proceeded to coat him once he had puncture the pipe. To top it off, Tasker was then knocked down by heavy compressor clips. As a result, he sustained chemical burns to his skin and eyes, as well as back injuries.

    Shell will resume drilling off Alaska coast

    2015-03-31

    Royal Dutch Shell will resume drilling off Alaska after suspending operations for two years in the wake of an accident, the special US envoy to the Arctic said on Monday, but gave no details as to when.

    Shell has been moving oil rigs to Alaska as it awaits the green light from US authorities. It froze operations in 2013 after the grounding of a rig in Alaska prompted protests from environmental groups.

    "Clearly Shell and others will resume drilling and exploration up off the North Slope of Alaska," Admiral Robert Papp said in an interview during a visit to Canada.

    Labor Officials: Hundreds Of West Texas Oil Workers Underpaid

    2015-03-31

    Texas Public RadioViolations of fair labor standards have resulted in hundreds of oilfield workers in West Texas and New Mexico being underpaid by more than $1.3 million, according to a review by federal officials.

    Most of the violations involved improper payments of overtime. In some cases, employees didn’t receive an overtime premium because they were misclassified as independent contractors, according to the U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division.

    There were also instances of employers not paying for time spent working off-the-clock.

    Texas-5th-grade girl dies after fall from pump jack near Borger

    2015-03-17

    A Borger fifth-grader was killed in a fall from an oil field pump jack Saturday evening, authorities said.

    Keara Joelyn Brown, 11, suffered the fatal fall just before 6 p.m. Saturday near a residence in the Watkins Camp area of Hutchinson County northeast of Borger, said Capt. Jerry Langwell of the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office.

    Other people were present when she fell, Langwell said, but her parents, Sara Triana and Andy Brown, of Borger, were not there at the time.

    British Columbia - Calfrac Employee Killed In Incident At Progress Energy Well Site

    2015-03-12

    An employee of Calfrac Well Services Ltd. was killed as a result of an accident that occurred in the early morning hours of March 11 at a Progress Energy well site about 175 kilometres northwest of Fort St. John.

    WorkSafe BC Senior Media Manager Trish Knight Chernecki said her office is investigating the incident, which she said took place about 12:40 a.m.

    Fort St. John RCMP and BC Coroners Service are also involved in the investigation, along with assessment teams from Calfrac and Progress.

    Oil Deaths Rise as Bakken Boom Fades

    2015-03-12

    Oil Deaths Rise as Bakken Boom Fades

    At least 38 oil-field fatalities occurred nationally in five months; the ‘most dangerous’ job in America

    At least eight workers have died since October in North Dakota’s oil fields, more than in the preceding 12 months combined.

    Get ready for oil deals: shale is going on sale

    2015-03-12

    A decision by Whiting Petroleum Corp., the largest producer in North Dakota’s Bakken shale basin, to put itself up for sale looks to be the first tremor in a potential wave of consolidation as $50-a-barrel prices undercut companies with heavy debt and high costs.

    For the first time since wildcatters such as Harold Hamm of Continental Resources Inc. began extracting significant amounts of oil from shale formations, acquisition prospects from Texas to the Great Plains are looking less expensive.

    Buyers are ultimately after reserves, the amount of oil a company has in the ground based on its drilling acreage. The value of about 75 shale-focused U.S. producers based on their reserves fell by a median of 25 percent by the end of 2014 compared to 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s opening up new opportunities for bigger companies with a better handle on their debt, said William Arnold, a former executive at Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

    Canada-Laid off oilfield workers stranded at remote work camp

    2015-03-11

    A group of sub-contractors at a remote worksite located north of Fort McMurray were stranded Tuesday, after they were laid-off, then told to find their own way home.

    CTV News has learned that about 25 sub-contractors were stranded at the Canadian National Resources Horizon Site Wednesday, after they were laid off Tuesday evening.

    “To treat people like that, you know, it isn’t fair,” A laid-off worker, who did not wish to be identified, told CTV News.

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