Continuous production throughout the Permian Basin means many men and women are constantly working in hazardous conditions. Serious accidents can occur on Texas oilfields and oil rigs located in the Gulf of Mexico, leading to serious worker injuries and fatalities.
Texas produces a significant portion of U.S. oil and natural gas each month. In April 2019, Texas produced 125,679,988 barrels of crude and condensate oil as well as 743,876,398 barrels of all types of natural gas, the Oil and Gas Division of the Railroad Commission of Texas reported.
Texas also is breaking its own records. In 2018, it produced more than 1.54 billion barrels of crude oil, beating the 1973 record of 1.28 billion barrels of crude, according to Oilprice.com.
Work in Texas fields and on offshore rigs is not slowing down. The demand for gas may increase the likelihood of individuals working in rough conditions and with poorly maintained equipment.
The pressure to keep producing oil and gas at ever-increasing rates often puts workers’ in harm’s way. Oil and gas workers who are injured while working in or off the coast of Texas should contact an experienced Dallas oilfield injury lawyer.
Common Oilfield & Oil Rig Disasters
Oilfield and oil rig disasters often involve:
- Truck and Transportation Accidents: One of the most common types of accidents in the oilfield is truck collisions and other transportation accidents. Our oilfield injury lawyers routinely handle serious truck accidents involving oil and gas workers.
- Fires or Explosions: Fires and explosions on oil rigs and in the oilfield are all too common, and when they occur, they are devastating. Workers handle flammable oil, gas, and other materials on a daily basis. The rigs and other oilfield facilities store large quantities of oil and gas. One tiny spark from poorly maintained equipment or another accident can set the area ablaze.
- Capsized Platforms and Vessels: Platforms and vessels capsize for a wide range of reasons, including lack of inspections, poor maintenance, miscommunications among workers, bad weather and more.
- Bad Weather: Oil and gas vessels and platforms constantly have to deal with the conditions of the sea or ocean and bad weather. Significant weather events like hurricanes, typhoons, and sizeable waves can cause devastating accidents.
Significant Oil Rig Accidents
Some of the most serious oil rig and field accidents around the world include:
The Alexander L. Kielland Disaster
In March 1980, 200 oil rig workers were aboard the Alexander L. Kielland, a semi-submersible residence for off-duty workers. A bracing failed, leading five cables to snap. After 20 minutes, the sixth anchor cable snapped, and the platform capsized. Only one lifeboat and two rafts had been released, and 123 men were killed.
The Ocean Ranger Disaster
In February 1982, the Ocean Ranger, a mobile offshore drilling rig, was struck by significant waves. A broken porthole window allowed water into the ballast control room. The vessel began to list 10-15 degrees, and the crew began to abandon ship. Nearby vessels were not equipped to rescue the crew in severe weather. All 84 crew members were killed.
The Piper Alpha Disaster
In July 1988, the Piper Alpha, which was one of the biggest offshore oil platforms in the U.K. at the time, suffered a gas leak. Due to communication errors during routine maintenance, a condensate-injection pump was turned on that had a temporary cover. The gas ignited and caused explosions on the platform. It took almost three weeks to control the fire and 167 workers were killed.
The Seacrest Drillship Disaster
In November 1989, 91 workers died when a drillship was struck by a typhoon and capsized. It was found floating upside down the day after the typhoon.
The Mumbai High North Platform
In July 2005, a support vessel crashed into the Mumbai High North platform, which caused an explosion and fire. Of the 384 workers aboard, 22 were killed. The platform was destroyed within two hours.
The Deepwater Horizon Disaster
In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon vessel exploded and caught fire. This was following several warning signs, including damage to the blowout preventer, which went uninspected and unreported. The oil rig fire burned for over a day, and of the 126 people aboard, 11 were killed and 17 suffered injuries.
Contact a Dallas Oilfield Injuries Lawyer Today
The disasters summarized above are by no means a thorough report of serious and fatal oil rig incidents. Oilfield and oil rig accidents happen on a frequent basis, and only in rare cases do all workers avoid harm.