Oil Rig Accidents

Oil Rig Explotions

Oil Rig Injuries

Parker Drilling Company

As the name suggests, Parker Drilling is a company that offers advanced drilling solutions. It was set up in 1934, and according to its official presentation, the enterprise is a leader as far as safety performance is involved.

About the Company

The Houston-based company specializes in several energy industry fields. A few of the most prominent services offered by this enterprise include the following:

  • Drilling services: the company has an extensive land rig fleet that operates in various international locations. The capabilities of the machines make them suitable for drilling at depths ranging between 10,000 and 30,000 feet and even more.
  • Equipment rental services
  • Project management
  • Training

On top of the land equipment, Parker Drilling also possesses and operates 13 barge rigs that are predominantly located in the US Gulf of Mexico.

The Company’s Fleet

While Parker does specialize in land operations, the company’s fleet includes a number of offshore facilities and vessels.

According to reports, the company’s Gulf of Mexico barge fleet is the largest one in the region. Over the past few years, the company has invested extensively in the improvement and the extension of its barge fleet. Today, the rigs are equipped for zero-discharge operations, which makes them suitable for the completion of an array of drilling jobs.

The number of barge rigs owned and operated by Parker right now is 13. These are in the Gulf of Mexico. The two oldest barges in the fleet began operations in 2006, and the newest ones were added in 2014. The barge rigs come with different drilling depth ratings – from 14,000 to 30,000 feet.

On top of that, the company operates land rigs and heli-hoist land rigs. These are in Alaska, Latin America and the Eastern Hemisphere.

Accidents and Worker Injury Reports

While this company prides itself on the safety of operations, there have been instances of injured workers and lawsuits pertaining to the security of work on the rigs.

In some of its official reports, Parker Drilling has gone as far as to claim that it has completed 19 years of operation without worker accidents. Doing a bit of research, however, reveals a somewhat different picture.

A particularly prominent rig mishap occurred in September 2003. One of the company’s rigs located off the Mississippi-Louisiana coast collapsed partially. According to an official press release, a malfunction submerged one part of the facility under the water and made the heavy equipment slide overboard.

Forty-one people were working on the rig at the time of the accident. Most of them went in the water after the malfunction occurred. All were rescued without fatalities, but 12 people sustained injuries.

In 2004, an oil rig mechanic called Roy Berg sued the oil enterprise for temporary total disability benefits. The court concluded that he had undisputedly suffered a work injury in 1998 when he slipped off an offshore facility and fell into the South China Sea. Later, Berg sued for compensation due to hip, back, feet and groin injuries.

Several other prominent worker injury cases have gathered media attention through the years. Here’s a summary of several such occasions:

  • The Parker Drilling v. O’Neill case: one of the most prominent in the history of the company, this lawsuit revolves around a fatal injury. Thomas James O’Neil was working on one of the company’s rigs in Prudhoe Bay when he was injured severely and died. His widow sued the Parker, but the case dragged. There were complications because the man was hired by another company to work on a Parker Drilling rig. Eventually, the jury awarded the widow with compensation.
  • Two workers were injured in 1991. A derrick hand and a driller were working on the floor of a rig at drill site K58. The accident resulted from high-pressure steam blowing from the drilling hole. The first worker sustained upper body burns and the second worker experienced lower arm burns.
  • A more recent accident occurred in 2003. One of the company’s rigs located in the Gulf of Mexico had to be jacked up to a new location. The crew experienced issues with the jacking motor, which necessitates repairs. Eventually, the jacking motor started turning unexpectedly, and the brake failed. As a result, the barge began tilting. Numerous crew members were injured, and the Coast Guard had to airlift some of the injured workers for quick transportation to the nearest hospital.
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