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Eagle Ford Shale Leads Texas in Energy-Industry Death Toll

Posted on Monday, July 1st, 2019 at 2:58 pm by Williams Hart   |  Updated: Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 at 9:19 am    

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2003-2013 the U.S. oil and gas extraction industry experienced unprecedented growth leading to a doubling of its workforce and an increase in the number of drilling rigs by 71%. 

In the midst of this rapid growth came the discovery of oil and gas in the Eagle Ford Shale, a long, geological formation that straddles the heartland of Texas’ central-southern regions. Its brittle sedimentary structure is extracted through hydraulic fracturing–otherwise known as fracking, a process in which rock is smashed with a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to release small pockets of oil and gas inside.

Stretching across the brush country of South Texas, from Madisonville–just north of Houston–all the way to the western rural regions of Carrizo Springs and Crystal City, the Eagle Ford Shale has been the most oil-and-gas-rich geological formation in the state since its discovery in 2008.

At roughly 50 miles wide and 400 miles long the Eagle Ford Shale is home nearly 30 counties in which thousands of locals are settled and oil and gas professionals have flocked to on the promise of hefty financial compensation. 

Like any other energy-industry hub, similar to the eruption that occurred in the Permian Basin of West Texas, these counties have stood witness to an alarming spike in occupational fatalities. 

According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Eagle Ford Shale leads the state in oil-and-gas related fatalities.

Common Causes of Drilling Rig Injuries

Energy-industry professionals are at risk of numerous hazards in the oilfields of the Eagle Ford Shale:

  • Fires and explosions
  • Chemical exposure
  • Equipment failure
  • Slips and falls
  • Electrocution

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of fatal work injury cases in oil and gas extraction industries were 27 percent higher in 2014 in comparison to the previous year. 

Additionally, between 2010 and 2014, 615 U.S. oil field workers died with 270 (44%) of those being from Texas. And in 2014 alone, half of the country’s oil field deaths were in Texas.

Following these fatalities, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) completed rig site investigations found that 78% of Texas oil-field accidents could have been prevented with safer equipment or the implementation of safety procedures.

What To Do in the Event of an Injury

Occupational fatalities are unfortunately prevalent in the oil and gas industry, especially in the busy regions of the Eagle Ford Shale. Fortunately, there are lawyers who specialize in oil and natural gas injury cases and can help you get the justice that you or your family deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (713) 352-7071 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.

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