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Oil Rig Explodes In Blaine County Oklahoma

Continental Resources Loses Patterson Rig 179 to Blowout
Evacuations Under Way For People Near Watonga 
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A massive fire continues to burn near Watonga after a drilling rig exploded late Monday night.The Blaine County Sheriff's Department said the explosion happened around 10 p.m. Monday at a natural gas site just east of of Watonga.

According to officials with Continental Resources, nearly a dozen workers were at the site drilling for natural gas when they were alerted to a problem. Authorities said workers evacuated the site just minutes before the explosion happened. No one was injured.

Deputies went door-to-door evacuating nearby homes. Blaine County Sheriff Ricky Ainsworth said about 25 homes were evacuated and most of the families are staying with relatives or at a nearby motel.

By 5 a.m. Tuesday, the sheriff's department said most of those families are being allowed to return home."The flames were probably 100-feet tall," said Matt Miller, who witnessed the flames. "Periodically, there were explosions with huge flashes." Miller said the air was thick with debris.

A one mile area around the natural gas site is still shut down. Investigators with the two companies involved, Continental Resources and Patterson Drilling, are at the scene.Officials said it is too early to tell what caused the explosion.

UPDATE Sept.20-8:20Am

According to a Continental Resources spokesperson all workers escaped safely moments before the explosion-No details on the cause or events leading up to the blowout. Families in the area that were evacuated have been allowed to return to their homes. The fire is expected to burn for days.

Comment by OkieOFT on September 20, 2011 at 1:43am
I work on this rig...It's Patterson-UTI Rig 179.  I'm on days off at the moment.  Gonna be a fun hitch next week.  At least no one was hurt, from what i've heard.
Comment by Drilling Ahead on September 20, 2011 at 1:55am

Hey OkieOFT-The latest rig count data shows Patterson UTI Rig 179 working for Continental Resources was drilling a 16,000' horizontal gas well-is that information correct?

Drilling Rig Report

Comment by OkieOFT on September 20, 2011 at 2:07am
Thats right.  We should have been at around 12,000.
Comment by Ian Joel on September 20, 2011 at 2:56am
Seems like well control has gone all to hell over the last couple of years .. everywhere ........................


Comment by Curtis on September 20, 2011 at 3:01am

 I agree with you on well control! It's not that hard- you pay attention to the well for signs of a kick-then you shut the well in. To many Drillers reading Hunting Magazines in the Doghouse or napping-too many hands on the cell phones fighting with their wives and nobody watching the store.

Comment by Michael Hand on September 20, 2011 at 9:48am
Im sorry this happened, let's see how Patterson covers this up, me personally believe I would have been on my pits ready for a soft shut in. Omg, I thought patter sons policy was no cell phones. No cutting corners, no bending the rules. I still have my coin, I bet it's not worth much now !!!!!
Comment by Tim Ludtke on September 20, 2011 at 10:36am
Its the drillers in the dog house that turn off there alarms on the pason is what is doing this but the company hand should of known there was going to be gas at this depth and been watching for it. the grade of drillers today is not what it was when i broke out drilling. Good luck to all the hands on the rig . Glad no one was hurt.
Comment by Ramon olivas on September 20, 2011 at 10:59am

my rig is around there lol


Comment by Brandon West on September 20, 2011 at 2:18pm
I went through a Blowout like this in about Feburary or March. It wasnt as bad as this one but were able to save the rig. Looks like our BOP was working a little better than theirs. I got a couple of friends that work on that rig so if  I get any info I will try and keep yall updated.
Comment by Brandon West on September 20, 2011 at 2:19pm
My rig is just south of there in Geary so I'll probably be seeing it burning!!
Comment by roberto ruiz gonzalez on September 20, 2011 at 3:28pm
hola camaradas. que pena que sigan sucediendo estos tipos de accidentes donde afortunadamente no hubo desgracias personales. y la seguridad?. preguntemos una vez mas donde quedan los procedimientos oportunos para este tipo de operaciones donde indiscutiblemente no se siguen los protocolos operativos y por lo tanto suceden este tipo de accidentes. animo para todos.
Comment by Alan Fortune on September 20, 2011 at 4:43pm

Thank God no one was injured.

How many like this recently?

There is an URGENT need for an experienced person on ALL sites to advise about compliance with the rules and specifications that are NOT in compliance.

Obviously, training and common sense are NOT getting through, or maybe they are, in one ear and out the other.

Comment by OkieOFT on September 20, 2011 at 5:06pm

As much as I hate to defend Patterson, the blame for this one falls on Continental Resources.  The company men that we had running the show were more interested in getting back on bottom and back to drilling than taking the time to do things right (circulate trip gas).  Last hitch we took a pretty good kick because once we got her back on bottom the CM wanted to go right back to drilling without circulating.  30 minutes later we had mud shooting out of the rotary table.  I don't believe that is what happened here, but they were coming out of the hole when they took the kick according to the people I have talked to.


On my side at least, we are very on top of safety and aside from a few small accidents we were accident free.  It is our training that is not up to par...On my crew no one but the driller and one of our floorhands knows what to do when taking a kick.  The relief crew is mostly worms and I doubt they have a clue.


The people that are supposed to be compliant with the rules are usually the ones pushing the envelope with them.

Comment by Curtis on September 20, 2011 at 5:41pm

A well fire was reported on the evening of September 19 in Blaine County, Oklahoma. Continental Resources was drilling the Moseley 1-5H natural gas well about 3 miles south of Watonga, Oklahoma, when a fire ignited.

None of the drilling staff sustained any injuries in the accident.

The Moseley well is burning natural gas and has been contained to one location. Initially, a 2-mile safety perimeter was established around the well and eight homes were evacuated. The safety radius has since been reduced to 1 mile.

Well control specialists Wild Well Control is on location, and additional resources are being brought to the location in an effort to get the well under control.

The well will continue a "managed burn," with Continental Resources revealing that the "well could continue to burn for several days," as crews work to remove the damaged drilling rig and extinguish the fire.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission and the Bureau of Land Management are on location, and appropriate regulatory agencies have been notified.

The cause of the accident is currently under investigation.

Continental Resources is the operator of the well, and Patterson-UTI Drilling owns and operates the drilling rig, named Patterson 179.

Comment by Shawn Kern on September 20, 2011 at 7:07pm
The drillers and hands now a days have too much new school learning where they r not taught to watch for the signs. We had 2 hands of a 6 man crew that new what to do on a BOP Drill. That means we were behind before we began. My thoughts are all the hands need to know what to do before evacuation and we wouldn't lose somany rigs or personnel. Who agrees with this?
Comment by doug Braun on September 20, 2011 at 7:09pm

If your pump pressure drops and volume rises....................


Comment by Shawn Kern on September 20, 2011 at 7:13pm
Who wants to bet this comes back to not filling the hole properly on the way out of the hole?
Comment by doug Braun on September 20, 2011 at 7:15pm

shawn kern are you related too joe kern?


Comment by Logan on September 20, 2011 at 11:39pm
What a shame...all the pictures I've seen showed pipe in the derrick. I'm gonna have to go with swab/improper fill while tripping out of hole as being the cause here. Just because you keep the hole full while tripping out DOESN'T mean it won't kick, you HAVE TO MONITOR AND RECORD FILL GUYS! People have gotten away with bad practices so long that they begin to think they are correct, just because something works doesn't mean it's correct. Don't ever take, "that's just how it is" for an answer fellas, know it, understand it, and do it right! I haven't seen the official "cause" of this but I'd be willing to be there were sure signs and human error let it get to this. But I wasn't there so I can only speculate.
Comment by Shawn Kern on September 21, 2011 at 11:47am

If all of the hands are not trained to watch for the signs for a kick then it creates a problem of more to watch for on the other hands. We had a crew one time never realized that they were filling the Kelly Shuck instead of filling the hole for 65 stands, not only was it a mistake by experience but having to watch too many inexperienced hands at the same time does create a situation for this to happen for this mistake to happen.


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