In the 1960’s, Pennzoil began with the merger of Zapata Petroleum and South Penn Oil Company. In 1963, the company began trading shares on the stock market. In 1965, the company took over United Gas Corporation. In 1970, Pennzoil Offshore Gas Operations which focused on exploration began to publicly offer shares of its stock. In 1972, Pennzoil, Louisiana and Texas Offshore Incorporated were established. A subsidiary of the company, Pennzoil Exploration and Production Company focuses in development and production of oil and natural gas.
Accidents and Pennzoil Workers
Accidents have been reported that include oil rigs owned and operated by Pennzoil Exploration and Production Company:
- In 1996, a diver was conducting gauge readings when he reported that there was low air pressure via telecommunications to the surface. A leak was later determined to exist where the hose connected to the worker’s helmet. The worker died as a result of this accident. Failure to properly maintain equipment is one of the most common reason why workers are injured or killed.
- In 1997, towels that were used to clean up cooking oil on an oil rig were washed and then dried at such a high temperature that the towels held in the heat and mixed with the combustible nature of cooking oil causing the towels to catch fire. Each year, the large number of fires and explosions occur on oil rigs due to the number of combustible materials that are used.
- In 1977, a helicopter carrying Pennzoil workers to an offshore rig crashed while attempting to land and plunged 130 feet into the ocean killing seventeen of the workers. The accident was later determined to be due to lack of training experience by the helicopter operator.
- In 1999, welding slag from work on a Pennzoil oil rig created a small fire while workers were placing fittings on a small gas supply line. While the fire began in the morning, the fire was not extinguished until night time. A large number of fires and explosions occur on oil rigs each year because workers do not use equipment that is suitable for the job.
- A rental generator on a Pennzoil rick caught fire, but was fortunately extinguished before the damage became significant. A large number of accidents occur on oil rigs due to failure by workers to properly maintain equipment.
- Due to worker error, a fire was caused because gas residue at a control made contact with sparks.
- An upset in a heater treater caused a shutdown of the rig’s low-pressure system which caused the compressor to malfunction and shutdown. Excess fuel flame extending out of the exhaust was immediately extinguished. No injuries or pollution were discovered.
- A paint locker on a top deck that contained paint thinner caught fire from spontaneous combustion. The fire was extinguished with a dry chemical unit.
- A forklift operator released the emergency brake to get off a forklift but the forklift rolled backwards. The worker was located between the forklift and heavy equipment. The worker could not stop the forklift in time and became pinned against heavy machinery. The worker experienced a compound fracture.
- Scaffolding collapsed at an oil rig which resulted in several workers being injured because the scaffolding was improperly assembled.
- A Pennzoil worker was struck by a falling piece of equipment at the oil rig.
- A well was blocked which had the potential to cause a very serious fire or explosion that could have seriously hurt workers. Four bolts that anchored the platform gave way because of stiff winds.
- An explosion occurred due to a chemical leak that killed several workers.
Why Oil Rig Workers Should be Aware of Asbestos
Workers for many years used asbestos without being aware that prolonged exposure to the material can result in deadly conditions like asbestosis and mesothelioma. Laws have since been created to eliminate the use of asbestos, but many workers who have been in the industry for several decades are still at substantial risk of being exposed to the material.
Obtain the Assistance of an Oil Rig Attorney
When oil rig and offshore accidents occur, workers can quickly find themselves facing many challenges including large medical bills and lost wages as well as many other complications. To obtain strong legal representation that can help you navigate this difficult situation, it is often a good idea to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Do not hesitate to call our law office today.