Shale Daily / NGI All News Access

OSHA Investigating West Texas Oil Well Blowout

Two workers were killed and three others hospitalized Friday morning in an oil well blowout in the Bone Spring tight sands formation in West Texas, near Barstow.

The blowout occurred on an Anadarko Petroleum Corp. lease, according to the Ward County, TX, sheriff's office.

"It was determined upon arrival that a pulling unit belonging to Basic Energy Services was in the process of rigging up on an Anadarko well when the well blew out," said Ward County Sheriff Mikel Strickland. "The explosion blew the crew off of the wellhead." Emergency crews from Ward and Reeves counties, and Barstow responded to the scene.

One worker was pronounced dead at the scene and a second was airlifted to the Odessa Medical Center, in Odessa, TX, where he later died. Two other workers were airlifted to University Medical Center in Lubbock, TX, where they are being treated. A consultant who was injured in the blowout was treated at Reeves County Hospital for gas inhalation and was released, Strickland said. The men were apparently contractors employed by Fort Worth-based Basic Energy Services.

The cause of the blowout is under investigation and officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) were on the scene, according to the sheriff's office. An OSHA official on Monday confirmed to NGI's Shale Daily that OSHA was investigating the incident. The Associated Press reported that the blowout occurred when the maintenance rig hit a pocket of high-pressure gas.

Neither Anadarko nor Basic Energy Services responded to requests for comment.

Woodlands, TX-based Anadarko last year hit production records in several onshore plays, including the Permian Basin's Avalon and Bone Spring formations (see Shale Daily, Dec. 5, 2012).

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