Oil & Gas Company Accidents
An accident can occur at any point during the extraction and delivery of oil and gas products. Companies must always ensure their facilities are maintained and employees are appropriately trained. Any lapse in training and safety can transform a normal day of operation into an event that ripples through the lives of hundreds of workers.
Oil and gas accidents include the following:
Many accidents like these can be prevented if employers, manufacturers, and others take necessary precautions. Because they are largely preventable, it’s unacceptable when an oil and gas company allows one to happen without taking responsibility. However, oil and gas companies are powerful and have legions of lawyers ready to deny responsibility and force injured workers to recover independently.
Major Players in the Oil & Gas Industry
At Arnold & Itkin, we have made it our goal to become familiar with all players in the oil and gas industry so we can better protect workers from poor and unsafe practices. This page was created so that you can familiarize yourself with them too. We encourage you to click the links below to learn more about companies in this sector.
Arnold & Itkin stands up to large oil and gas companies, including the following:
Baytex Energy Corporation
Baytex Energy Corp. is a Calgary, Alberta-based conventional oil and gas corporation. The company is engaged in acquiring, developing, and producing oil and natural gas in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and has an emerging presence in the United States. In 2007 and 2008, Baytex acquired significant land positions in the Powder River and Williston basins in North Dakota. Three years later, the company began focusing operations on the light oil resource play in the Divide and Williams Counties of North Dakota. Baytex’s regional production comes primarily from the Bakken and Three Forks formations, using horizontal wells and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing. The company has approximately 277,900 (116,000 net) acres of land in the region.
Brazos Midstream is one of the largest private cured oil and natural gas companies in the Delaware Basin. In late 2014, it was founded by an executive team. It partnered with other corporations to acquire and develop midstream infrastructure across the U.S., focusing on crude oil and natural gas gathering, treating, and processing assets. Headquartered in Fort Worth, TX, Brazos Midstream has invested in over 750 miles of pipeline and $200 million to support ongoing operations. The current business was recapitalized and sold to Morgan Stanley for $1.75 billion.
Worker Suffers Brain Injury at Brazos Facility in Mentone, TX
According to a report from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an employee servicing a compressor at the Brazos Mainstream facility in Mentone, Texas, suffered a severe brain injury when a pipe struck him in the head. OSHA reports that he was not wearing a hard hat at the time of the accident and was hospitalized for “intracranial injuries.” This accident occurred on January 18, 2020.
Continental Resources was founded in 1967 and has focused on crude oil production since the 1980s. They’re one of the nation’s top 10 producers of liquid petroleum and the largest leaseholder in the Bakken oil play of North Dakota and Montana. Based in Oklahoma City, they have a leading presence in the Anadarko Woodford Play of Oklahoma, as well as the Red River Units Play of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.
Continental employs three main methods of oil and gas retrieval:
- Eco-pad drilling is where four wells can be drilled from a single pad. The approach allows for the development of two formations on two separate spacing units simultaneously, allowing a greater harvest of reservoir resources with a reduced environmental impact on the land.
- Horizontal drilling is a method of oil and gas retrieval designed to give access to resources that were previously not economically worthwhile to tap. Horizontal drilling allows a well to be drilled from the surface to a subsurface location just above a target oil or gas reserve before deviating to intersect the reservoir at its entry point at a near horizontal incline.
- Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process that inserts fluids under high pressure into underground wells to create cracks in deep underground rock formations. Those cracks allow oil and gas to reach the surface with greater ease.
For 200+ years, DuPont has manufactured products across numerous industries. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, with 98,000 employees, DuPont has plants across the U.S. making products such as Teflon and Lycra. In a 2017 merger estimated to be worth $180 billion, Dow Chemical and E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company combined to create DuPont de Nemours, Inc. Following the merger, three publicly traded spinoffs were established: Corteva (agriculture), Dow Inc. (materials science), and DuPont (specialty products).
DuPont’s History of Plant Accidents & Environmental Harm
DuPont is far from immune to chemical plant accidents and other industrial incidents.
- In 2009, a chemical storage tank at a plant in Tonawanda, NY exploded, killing a contract worker.
- In 2010, West Virginia DuPont plant worker died after being sprayed in the chest with phosgene. A tube connecting to the tank had frayed. Upon investigating the incident, the Chemical Safety Board concluded that DuPont was using old chemical tubes and relied too much on automated software.
- In 2014, a chemical leak at a Houston-area DuPont plant killed four workers. DuPont and a former DuPont employee were later indicted for failing to implement company safety procedures required by federal regulations. DuPont was ordered to pay a $3.1 million penalty.
- In January 2021, DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva agreed to pay $4 billion to settle lawsuits related to “forever chemicals,” which do not break down in the environment. They’re highly toxic and linked to cancer, birth defects, developmental delays, and other serious health problems. DuPont also reached a $16.5 million settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency and agreed to pay $671 million in damages after dumping millions of pounds of a forever chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) into Dry Run Creek in West Virginia.
Enable Midstream Partners
Enable Midstream Partners is one of the biggest midstream pipeline companies in the world. A publicly traded master limited partnership, Enable owns, operates, and develops natural gas and crude oil assets in major producing basins. The company is responsible for about 23,000 miles of pipelines and can process 2.6 billion cubic feet daily, plus 85 billion cubic feet of storage capacity.
Enable Midstream was founded in 2013 and now has over 1,800 employees. It is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with a primary focus on the nearby basins in the South Central U.S., such as the Permian, Barnett, Marcellus, and Utica Basins. Enable Midstream Partners is a subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy.
Enable Pipeline Explosion in Garland County, Arkansas
On May 3, 2019, a natural gas pipeline owned by Enable Midstream Partners ruptured, spurring evacuations and road closures up to a mile away. The incident occurred in Garland County, Arkansas, near Highway North 7. No one was injured, but residents in the area reported hearing a thunderous explosion when the line ruptured. A clerk working at a store about four miles away said she and shoppers heard what sounded like an explosion or a loud thunderclap. Then a constant roaring sound began, which lasted for about two hours.
Founded in 1986, Enerplus is a North American energy producer with oil and gas assets in Canada and the U.S. They exploit tight oil, crude oil watersheds, shale gas, and liquids-rich natural gas, as well as more conventional resources. In the U.S., Enerplus focuses on growth opportunities in the Bakken/Three Forks resource plays of North Dakota and the Marcellus Shale of northern Pennsylvania. In Canada, Enerplus focuses on the liquids-rich Depp Basin area of British Columbia and Alberta and concentrates on oil production throughout the Sedimentary Basin of Western Canada. In North Dakota alone, Enerplus holds 75,000 net acres of land in the Bakken/Three Forks play. Enerplus’ tight oil resources in the region account for 26% of the company’s probable reserves, in addition to providing 18% of Enerplus’ daily production.
Fidelity Exploration & Production Company
Fidelity Exploration & Production, based in Denver, Colorado, is involved in acquiring, developing, developing, and producing oil and natural gas resources. Fidelity’s activities include the acquisition of producing properties and leaseholds with potential development opportunities, exploratory drilling, and the operation and development of oil and natural gas production properties. Fidelity’s business is focused in the Rocky Mountain region and Mid-Continent/Gulf states, primarily in North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and Colorado. Fidelity owns non-operated oil and gas interests and undeveloped acreage in this region.
Fidelity operates in the following areas:
- Bakken and Three Forks areas in North Dakota and Montana
- Big Horn Basin of Wyoming
- Green River Basin in southwestern Wyoming
- Paradox Basin of Utah
- Baker Field in southeastern Montana and southwestern North Dakota
- Bowdoin area in north-central Montana
- Heath Shale area in northeastern Montana
- Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming
- Niobrara area in southeastern Wyoming
Hunt Oil Company
Hunt Oil Company, founded in 1934, is a privately-owned company that engages in oil and gas exploration and production activities in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Hunt also focuses on constructing and operating liquefied natural gas projects in Yemen and Peru. While Hunt began its operations in East Texas, the company has spread nationwide. Specifically, it is interested in exploring and developing new, unconventional oil and gas resources. They do so by engaging in horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and advanced seismic techniques. Hunt maintains a significant presence in the Marcellus play in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the Eagle Ford Play in South Texas, and the Bakken Play in North Dakota.
Murex Petroleum Corporation
Murex Petroleum Corporation is engaged in acquiring, developing, and operating oil and gas properties in North America. Since its 1996 incorporation, Murex has become the 5th largest operator in South Dakota and the 25th largest operator in the Rocky Mountain Region. Murex controls over 34,000 net mineral acres through affiliated companies, including the following:
- Linda Petroleum Company
- Missiana LLC
- Missilinda of Canada
- Williston Projects Inc.
- Mono Corporation
Murex operates 170 wells in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. It is continuing with a horizontal drilling program in the Bakken play on the Nesson Anticline in Williams County, North Dakota.
Oasis Petroleum is an independent company focused on acquiring and developing unconventional oil and natural gas resources. Oasis engages in both exploration and production activities. Oasis has acquired 307,000 net leasehold acres in the Williston Basin in North Dakota, mainly in West Williston, East Nesson, and Sanish. Oasis acquisitions in the region first began in 2007 and culminated in late 2010.
Oasis engages in longer lateral drilling practices and tightly spaced fracking stimulation stages to increase production rates and recover the maximum amount of hydrocarbons in each well.
Oasis plans to strengthen its position by acquiring additional acreage and producing assets.
Located in Pasadena, Texas, Petrobras was founded in 1953 and produces upward of two million barrels of oil products per day—including diesel, gasoline, naphtha, jet fuel, petroleum gas, and lubricants, among other products. Working at a Petrobras refinery is a naturally risky job due to the highly-volatile chemicals inside their industrial plants and refineries—the same chemicals inside most petroleum refineries. Those risks are made worse when companies fail to provide workers with safe environments, working equipment, or proper training.
2016 Petrobras Texas Explosion
In 2016, the Petrobras Pasadena, TX refinery suffered damage to a 35,000-BPD light cycle hydrogen desulfurization unit, which uses hydrogen to convert oil into diesel by removing sulfur. The damage ignited a fire and triggered an explosion—causing a worker to suffer serious burn injuries. The worker was rushed to the hospital. Eventually, it was discovered that an equipment malfunction caused the fire. The worker’s story demonstrates the importance of keeping equipment up-to-date to prevent incidents like this from occurring.
Petro-Hunt, L.L.C. is a privately-held independent oil and gas company based in Dallas, Texas. Its primary focus is on the global exploration and production of oil and gas. The company was founded in the 1920s in El Dorado, Arkansas, and it later played an active role in developing the East Texas Oil Field. Today, Petro-Hunt is one of the largest privately-held companies in the world and remains active in the onshore and offshore sectors.
Petro-Hunt prides itself on being a “wildcat company,” engaging high-risk in oil and gas exploration in areas that have not yet been commercially proven. The company is involved in drilling shallow oil and gas wells and deep onshore and offshore wells involving technologically and environmentally challenging conditions. Petro-Hunt’s history of drilling has included deviated and horizontal wells. The company’s primary operations are in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, the Gulf Coast, Wyoming, and the Williston Basin area of North Dakota.
QEP Resources is an independent natural gas and oil exploration and production company based in Denver, Colorado. The company’s operations are focused in the Rocky Mountain and Midcontinent regions of the United States. QEP also gathers, compresses, treats, and processes natural gas. QEP’s domestic operations are focused in Texas, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and North Dakota. In North Dakota, QEP holds 90,000 net acres.
Slawson Exploration Company Inc.
Founded in 1957, Slawson Exploration Company Inc. is a privately-owned oil and gas exploration company. Since its beginnings, Slawson has drilled over 3,500 oil and gas wells in 10 states. Slawson prides itself on being at the forefront of drilling innovations—from 2D Seis/Strat operations in the early 80s to widespread fracking for hydrocarbon harvesting in present-day resource plays throughout the Rocky Mountains.
Slawson currently operates regional exploration in California, North Dakota, Oklahoma, the Gulf of Mexico, South Texas, and Kansas. It strives to engage in aggressive exploration while using risk-reduction technology to exploit tested, prolific resource deposits.
Western Refining, Inc. is a crude oil refiner headquartered in El Paso. The company’s refineries are located in Gallup, New Mexico; St. Paul Park, Minnesota; and El Paso, Texas. They have the combined capacity to process about 242,000 barrels of crude oil daily. All three refineries have loading terminals to transport products by commercial truck, and the El Paso refinery also delivers via pipelines. Western Refining also owns several terminals in New Mexico, Virginia, Arizona, and Texas. It has about 260 retail outlets located throughout the southwestern U.S. In 2014, its revenue was an estimated $15.2 billion, and the company had 5,700 employees.
In 2017, Western Refining was acquired by Andeavor, another independent refining company, for $6.4 billion. In 2018, Marathon acquired Andeavor, replacing Valero Energy as the largest oil refiner in the United States.
WPX Energy is a publicly-traded natural gas and oil exploration and production company founded in 1983 when Williams E&P acquired Northwest Pipeline’s San Juan Basin properties. Since then, the company has worked to build a geographically-diverse portfolio of natural gas liquids, natural gas, and oil through development and acquisition strategies. WPX operates in Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Texas, Argentina, and Colombia. They focus on producing oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids from non-conventional resources like tight sands and shale formations. They also focus on coalbed methane reserves. WPX has helped develop over 7,000 new natural gas wells in its U.S. regions. In North Dakota, WPX owns leaseholder positions of about 85,000 net acres in the Williston Basin, primarily located in the Bakken Shale.
Our Oil & Gas Company Lawyers Serve Clients Nationwide
Whether you’re suffering after an oil rig explosion or are recovering from the aftermath of a refinery accident, Arnold & Itkin has the experience needed to help you. Our team has recovered billions for clients nationwide, many of whom were struggling financially after a severe oil and gas accident. We’ve earned our record-setting results by never settling for less than a client deserves and refusing to let oil and gas companies intimidate us. When they use blame and accusations to divert attention from their negligence, our team will use investigations and facts to restore the truth to the situation and tell your side of the story.
Call our oil and gas accident attorneys now for help at (888) 493-1629. We’re ready to hear your story.