Many people know the Bakken Formation has emerged in the last ten years
as one of the
most productive oil and natural gas resources in the United States. According to the
US Energy Information Administration, the region has become the second leading oil-producing area in our country.
Rapidly changing and increasingly complex technologies, which include
horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, have contributed significantly
to the increased production. Of course,
construction accident risk increases along with soaring yields, coupled with the dangers inherent
with these technologies.
However, did you know that, despite a recent downturn in the industry,
fatalities increased in the last eighteen months? According to
The Wall Street Journal, this increase likely stems from "cost-cutting pressure on oil-field
services companies, whose employees do much of the work at drilling sites."
Ironically, the recent dip in oil prices and subsequent reductions in
output have prompted additional risk for workers.Experts argue that, "In order to survive the downturn, producers are forced
to make tough decisions that may contribute to unsafe conditions in an
industry known for 12-hour work shifts, rampant turnover and long stretches
without time off." So, while some may believe the recent slow down
would reduce personal injury, both physically and emotionally, the inverse
has been true.
Indeed, although safety measures, such as those advocated by
OSHA, may have been part of industry best practices, staffing reductions, pay
cuts, and less experienced contractors have added to the hazards throughout
the industry, according to the
WSJ. And things are not likely to change soon, for
Inside Energy reports that "many oil companies are in dire financial straits going
Odegaard Braukman Law PLLC offers personal and individualized attention
for each of our clients. We are knowledgeable of the dangers associated
with the oil field industry and, especially, the Bakken oil and gas fields.
In fact, we have significant experience with oil field accidents. As a
result, we commit to fighting for your rights in the face of negligence.
Contact us for a free case evaluation.