Drilling for oil can be dangerous work, and oil rig blowouts are a primary concern.
If you or someone you care about has been injured or fatally harmed in a blowout accident, don’t wait to consult with an experienced Houston oil field attorney at Haun Mena.
What Are Oil Rig Blowouts?
Oil rig blowouts are also called drill rig blowouts, oil well blowouts, and oil rig explosions. They refer to accidents involving the immense pressure that comes with the extraction of oil from below the earth’s surface.
The substances that oil rigs extract were created over millions of years of enormous pressure exertion, which must be handled with exacting care throughout the drilling process. Oil rig blowouts are most likely to occur when one of the following steps in the drilling process is being performed:
- During the drilling itself
- During well testing
- During well completion
- During workover activity
- During production
Types of Blowouts
There are three primary types of oil rig blowouts.
The force of the pressure created by blowouts at the surface can lead to the entire drill string being completely ejected from the well, which can lead to blowing oil, natural gas, sand, rocks, mud, fire, and more, which can easily prove deadly. Surface blowouts can damage or destroy the rig itself and can seriously injure crew members.
Subsea blowouts are concerning for a range of reasons, but a primary reason is that they happen at remote locations on the water. Subsea wells can range from depths of 10 feet to 8,000 feet, which complicates the issue of stopping the consequences.
Underground blowouts are caused when liquids from higher pressure zones flow in an uncontrolled manner to lower pressure zones, which often means from deeper zones to those that are shallower. Underground blowouts also have the capacity to cause immense damage.
How Should Blowouts Be Prevented?
With proper attention, care, and skill, oil rig blowouts can be prevented. Oil rig companies are required to carefully abide by the following:
The strict regulations maintained by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
All industry standards
All safety policies implemented by the oil rig companies themselves
These standards and regulations are designed to guide the selection, maintenance, and use of well-control equipment, such as the following:
- Mechanical and hydrostatic barriers
- Blowout preventers
- Mud monitoring equipment
- Mud mixing systems
With the appropriate measures in place, oil rig “kicks” can be controlled, and oil rig blowouts can be prevented.
Blowout preventers, which are a primary line of defense when it comes to ensuring that blowouts don’t happen, work by sealing off wells and withstanding incredible pressure after a kick or after hydrocarbons begin to flow uncontrollably.
When preventers are in excellent working order, they can shut down a blowout nearly instantaneously, but when they haven’t been well maintained, or the operators running them lack the necessary training and skill, they are far less effective.
Injuries From Oil Rig Blowouts
Oil rig blowouts can cause every manner of serious or fatal injury, but some of the most common include:
- Severe burns
- Blunt force trauma
- Crush injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Limb loss or injuries that require amputation
Claiming Compensation for an Oil Rig Explosion
If you are injured on an oil rig, you can seek compensation for a wide range of losses – or legal damages – which will support your recovery process.
Your medical costs
You can seek compensation for your complete medical expenses, which can include all the following:
Hospitalization and surgery
Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other forms of ongoing treatment
Medical supplies and prescription medications
Office visits and medical tests, procedures, and treatments
Travel expenses related to medical appointments
Adaptive physical devices and modifications to the home
Being injured on the job can leave you out of work for an extended period – or can end your career entirely – and the associated financial and emotional losses can be immense.
Pain and suffering
The emotional pain you endure as a result of a violent oil rig blowout can rival even the physical pain you suffer.
How We Can Help
At Haun Mena, we dedicate our practice to taking on all the following tasks in support of injured oil industry workers:
Gathering the physical evidence necessary to build your strongest claim
Hiring expert testimony
Collecting the statements of rig workers who witnessed the accident in question
Forcefully negotiating with the involved insurance company for a fair settlement that addresses your losses in their entirety
Being ready to take the matter to court if necessary
Contact an Experienced Houston Oil Rig Blowout Attorney on Your Side
We are Houston injury attorneys with expertise in managing oil rig blowout cases and give injured oil workers and their families the care and legal skill necessary for a favorable outcome. Put our experience and legal insight behind your pursuit for full compensation of the damages you suffered. To learn more, please contact us online or call us at 713-561-5334 today.
Blowout Accident FAQs
Do I have to hire an attorney?
Hiring an attorney affords you the best opportunity to be fully compensated for your losses and to recover to the fullest extent possible.
How much will my attorney charge?
Your attorney will likely work on contingency, which means you will pay a prearranged percentage of your settlement or court award only after the matter has been finalized.
Will my claim end up in court?
Your claim will likely settle out of court, but if the insurance company refuses to negotiate fairly, going to court may be your best option.