HOUSTON—An investigation into an explosion at an Oklahoma natural gas drilling rig that killed five workers last year faulted inadequate training and equipment and called for new regulations, the U.S. safety regulator said on June 12.
The Pryor Trust gas well in Pittsburgh County, Okla., was operated by Red Mountain Energy LLC and workers employed by Houston-based drilling contractor Patterson-UTI Energy Inc.
"The lack of effective safety management at this well resulted in a needless catastrophe," said Kristen Kulinowski, interim executive of the Chemical Safety Board.
Workers were not properly trained to monitor for natural gas leaks and had turned off an alarm that could have warned them, the CSB said. Equipment designed to shut gas or oil flow during an emergency also failed, likely because control hoses burned, the CSB said.
Drilling began "without needed planning, equipment, skills, or procedures," the board said.
Patterson-UTI "does not agree with all of the findings" but is reviewing them for "what additional policies, procedures and training could be implemented," a spokeswoman said. The company has reached settlements with the families of the workers killed at the site.
Red Mountain Energy could not be reached for comment. President Tony Say told the Tulsa World newspaper it operated "in accordance with standard industry practice" and said the CSB's findings "were inconsistent with the data we submitted."
The CSB has no regulatory or enforcement authority.
The American Petroleum Institute (API), which develops safety standards for the oil industry, needs to make design changes to better protect workers in driller's cabins and create guidelines on alarm systems, the CSB said.
The API plans to review the CSB's report and consider its recommendations, Vice President Erik Milito said in a statement
Certarus Ltd. has entered into a flare gas capture and compressed natural gas supply agreement on Aug. 19 with a multinational American energy supermajor to service its electric hydraulic fracturing operations in the Delaware and Midland basins.
Exterran’s complete suite of integrated technologies now includes desanders, deoilers, multiphase hydrocyclones and microbubble flotation technology for oil and solids removal.
Weatherford's Vero automated connection integrity system, which applies AI to validate well integrity with absolute certainty and minimize safety risks, has completed 15,000 tubular connections in 50 operations worldwide since its market debut.