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.
Energy-industry professionals are at risk of numerous hazards in the oilfields of the Eagle Ford Shale:
Fires and explosions
Slips and falls
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.