What is the Bakken Shale?
The Bakken Shale, also known as the Bakken Formation, is one of the most active oil fields in the U.S. and covers approximately 200,000 square miles of the subsurface in underlying parts of North Dakota, Montana, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Drilling in the Bakken Shale has caused a huge economic boom to these areas, with the North Dakota portion alone producing over 800,000 barrels of oil per day for 2013. Estimates for how much oil the shale holds ranges from 7 to 24 billion barrels.
Bakken Shale Accidents
With over 8,000 active wells in the United States alone, thousands of workers face a number of perils every day on and off the work site. Common causes of accidents on the Bakken Shale and other oilfields can involve blowouts, defective equipment, vehicle collisions, and the failure of the employer to meet a number of safety standards. Accidents can even happen when transporting the crude by rail or other method, all of which can put workers in danger.
Injuries suffered can include:
- Broken bones
- Back injuries
- Damage to feet or hands
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Brain and spine injuries
And injuries are not limited to workers. Visitors to the job site, contractors, and even the general public can be put in danger by negligent practices and failure to meet job safety standards.
As an example, last year an oil train derailed and exploded into a fire that burned for 36 hours. The accident killed 47 people, destroyed 40 buildings, and injured many others. Witnesses described the crash as a "wall of fire," and safety concerns still surround the rails used to transport oil.
North Dakota Shale Lawyer
If you or someone you know was injured in a Bakken Shale or other oilfield accident by the negligence of an oil or gas company, contact Arnold & Itkin to obtain free legal representation. There is no cost to you unless we win your case.