Tagged Articles

drilling 136 articles

OK Supreme Court: Special Protections For Oil and Gas Industry Unconstitutional

Oklahoma oil and gas workers and their families recently welcomed news that the state’s highest court struck down a rule exempting oil and natural gas companies from being sued when their workers are injured or killed on the job. On Jan. 23, the Oklahoma Supreme Court found the part of the state’s workers compensation law giving oil and natural gas companies special immunity from the law was unconstitutional. The unanimous decision with one recusal resolves a lawsuit brought by the daughter of a worker who was killed in a well site accident in Crescent, Oklahoma, in 2013. David Chambers worked ... Read More

Oklahoma Gas Rig Explosion Kills Five

A massive natural gas rig explosion that killed five men and burned another in Eastern Oklahoma Monday, Jan. 22, was caused by an uncontrolled release of gas from a well during drilling operations, state regulators said. The accident – the deadliest drilling rig explosion to occur since BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010 – happened around 9 a.m. at a well site operated by Patterson-UTI in Pittsburgh County, Oklahoma. Of the 22 workers on the well site at the time of the rig explosion, 17 were able to escape. Five others on the rig were classified as missing until about ... Read More

Pawnee Tribe Sues Oil Companies In Tribal Court For Earthquake Damage

The Pawnee Nation filed a lawsuit in its tribal court March 3, accusing several oil companies actively drilling in Oklahoma of causing that state’s largest-ever recorded earthquake and damaging historical tribal buildings that are nearly a century old. The lawsuit represents the 3,200-member Pawnee tribe in north-central Oklahoma. According to the complaint, the oil companies named as defendants triggered the earthquake by injecting wastewater into wells and destabilizing subterranean layers of bedrock and faults, causing the earth to shift. The complaint is the first earthquake-related litigation to be heard in a tribal court. If it goes to trial, it will ... Read More

Oil Industry Brine Spills Destroying North Dakota Prairie Soil and Groundwater

The proliferation of oil wells in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale region has been a 21st Century Gold Rush for energy companies, but all the new oil production is taking a toll on the environment in ways previously unforeseen. A recent decline in North Dakota’s oil production due to declining oil prices has allowed environmental experts to assess some of the ways Bakken shale development has damaged the environment, most notably the rich prairie soil and underlying aquifers. One of the biggest threats is the industry’s production of brine, which is churned up with oil in the drilling and extraction process. ... Read More

State of Emergency Declared, Wastewater Wells Shut After Earthquake Rocks Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s governor declared a state of emergency and state regulators ordered oil and gas wastewater disposal operations shut down after a record-tying 5.6 earthquake rattled much of the Midwest Saturday morning. “The earthquake was felt in multiple states and was the strongest the state has experienced since November 2011 when a magnitude 5.6 earthquake occurred in Lincoln County,” Gov. Mary Fallin said Saturday night. “This emergency declaration will start the process to helping individuals, families and businesses impacted by the earthquakes and serves as a precursor to requesting any necessary assistance.” In the past decade, Oklahoma has experienced an alarming increase ... Read More

No Tougher Safety Rules In Sight Despite Oil Field Worker Deaths

A reporter researching oil field fatalities for the online business journal EnergyWire helped uncover a pattern of mysterious deaths, mostly of young, healthy workers who died atop or near oil field hatches they had opened to measure oil well levels by hand. The death of 21-year-old Dustin Bergsing, whose lifeless body was found slumped next to an open oil hatch in 2012, was unsettling to reporter Mike Soraghan because federal safety regulators found no safety violations, so no fines were issued, and no corrective action was taken that could prevent such deaths in the future. Both the industry and the ... Read More

Alabama getting $93.8 million for BP oil spill recovery and restoration projects

Alabama is set to receive $93.8 million in oil spill money for coastal restoration projects in the third and largest installment to come from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, which was established to help the U.S. Gulf coast recover from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees made the announcement on Friday that Alabama and the four other Gulf Coast states would soon be receiving their share of $1 billion in funds BP provided as a down payment in April 2011. Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas will share $627 million in ... Read More

Cleanup workers sickened by BP oil spill face legal limbo with medical claims

Cleanup workers and coastal residents who were exposed to crude oil and chemical dispersants from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill may be forced into the same kind of protracted litigation that prevented Exxon Valdez cleanup workers from getting medical assistance and relief from doctor’s bills. Some 20,000 Gulf coast residents and cleanup workers, many of them suffering from chronic health problems that manifested several months after their exposure to the oil and other contaminants, are part of a medical damages settlement class, but find themselves in a legal limbo thanks to, as WWL-TV reported, “a disputed reading of one phase ... Read More

Judge strikes down BP’s efforts to recoup money paid on oil spill claims

A federal judge in New Orleans overseeing the BP oil spill litigation said that the company will not be permitted to take back hundreds of millions of dollars it paid out to victims harmed by the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill. BP had sought to recoup payments it considered excessive from some oil spill claimants. Those payments were calculated under the accounting methods established by the 2012 settlement agreement, before Judge Carl Barbier ordered the claims administrator’s office last year to implement new accounting procedures BP considered fairer. However, Judge Barbier found in a hearing last week that the payments ... Read More

Halliburton agrees to $1.1-billion resolution of Deepwater Horizon oil spill claims

Beasley Allen lawyers and other members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) leading the BP oil spill litigation announced they have reached a $1.1-billion settlement with Halliburton Energy Services over its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The settlement, subject to approval by a New Orleans federal court, is to be paid into a trust in three installments over the next two years until all appeals have been resolved. Halliburton, an oil-field services provider that cemented the doomed well a mile beneath the Deepwater Horizon rig, agreed to plead guilty to a criminal charge last year for destroying evidence ... Read More