September 24, 2014

Worker Dies At Wyoming Natural Gas Facility

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A worker has died after an explosion at a natural gas storage tank in western Wyoming. Jared Loftiss, 35, of Marbleton, Wyoming was working for Hughes Enterprises, an oilfield services company based out of Marbleton.

Wyoming Workforce Services spokeswoman Hayley McKee says the preliminary investigation suggests there was a flash fire, caused by static buildup. Three workers were injured in addition to Loftiss — one was treated and released from a local hospital, the two others are still being treated at the University of Utah Burn Center. One was an employee of Hughes Enterprises, one of CR Construction and one of EOG Resources. McKee says they were not all wearing fire resistant clothing.

Loftiss’ death brings the number of oil and gas fatalities in Wyoming this year to at least two three. Although some statistics show the state’s oil and gas industry has been getting safer in recent years, there are concerns that those improvements won’t last as the pace of drilling picks up again. Inside Energy recently explored what it takes to make dangerous industries safer in a series of stories called Dark Side of the Boom.

This post has been updated with information about the worker’s name and his employer, as well as the results of the preliminary investigation.

  • bicfj

    The Bush administration cut back on OSHA regulations caused the big surge in worker deaths.
    The cut back also increased corporate profits a lot.
    Thanks George W and Richard Bruce.
    We took the profits to the bank and bought more deregulated companies.
    The workers are still dead.

  • Numb3rTech

    There are so many new workers in the oilfield that are totally untrained, it is beyond belief. I’ve seen situations where people just have no idea of what to do when something goes wrong. There are no longer the experienced people in many places of the oilfield. It is getting more dangerous due to this. It is not OSHA, but the companies letting go of the experienced people. The oilfield is safe when things are done properly. I am sorry people died. But people need to be properly trained to work in the oilfield.

  • judi burns

    Im a wife of a tool pusher that has over 30+ years of experience in the oil industry. Oil companies train everyone that applies and is lucky enough to get the job. The training can and sometimes last for days, but it is hard and long hours on the job site but safety is always first. I think that some roughnecks only consider the pay checks then remembering it is a 50/50 chance every time they walk on that platform. I believe that’s when experience plays a part when they remember their odds. Hats off to all oil rig workers and their families!!!

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