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Oil Well Blowout

Oil Well Blowouts

Common Causes of the Workplace Disasters

There are many different possible causes for fires and explosions on oil rigs. In the case of the Deepwater Horizon, the explosion was caused by a blowout. On the rig operated by Black Elk Energy, a torch that was being used to cut through an oil line caused the explosion.

Other possible causes of oil rig explosions include:

  • Equipment failure
  • Negligence by workers or employers

In any case, blowouts are extremely dangerous work place accidents that can injure or even kill tens of people. Fighting for your compensation after blowout injury means standing up to big oil corporations that will do everything in their power to avoid liability, and this is why you would need the help of a strong legal team, such as the one in Arnold & Itkin LLP. We have fought Fortune 500 companies and successfully earned from them record-setting verdicts for our clients.

What is a blowout and why is it so dangerous?

When oil collects underground, it forms an oil field. When people drilling for oil attempt to tap into this concentration of oil, the pressure can build up and cause a blowout. These blowouts used to be far more common as there was not the technology to control it. Now, however, workers have equipment designed to control the pressure. The first sign that a blowout may be eminent is an event known as a kick. The kick occurs when the pressure balance is off. If this kick is not controlled, the result could be a blowout.

There are certain signs that workers can lookout for when it comes to kicks. The rate at which drilling takes place may suddenly change or the rate of surface fluid may change. Workers also need to be on the lookout for change in the pressure of the pump or a reduced weight in the drill pipe. Even though these events are less common than they used to be, the fact that a blowout caused the Deepwater Horizon disaster shows it's a serious problem.

Types of Well Blowouts

Blowouts could happen at any stage of the drilling process.

  • Well blowouts at the surface can cause the oil or gas to be ejected from the well. It could also bring up mud, stones, sand, and more. These could be caused by sparks from rocks rubbing together or from another type of heat source.
  • The blowouts that would occur on oil rigs are subsea blowouts. In these situations, the equipment that controls the pressure is located on the seabed. These are one of the most difficult types of blowouts because they occur anywhere from 10 feet to depths of 8,000 feet. Those in the industry do not have much experience in dealing with these types of situations, so when they do occur, it can cause serious problems.

These blowouts can lead to explosions and fires and pose a serious threat to the workers on the oil rig. If you were on an oil drilling platform when there was a well blowout, you could be entitled to compensation. Whether you were the victim of serious injury or lost a loved one in a blowout accident, we could help protect your rights.

At Arnold & Itkin, we have been able to recover billions of dollars for seamen who have been injured. We have been able to handle cases involving oil rig accidents and explosions, maritime piracy, employer negligence, and more. If you would like to tell us about your case, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our legal team.

Learn how we could help defend your injuries by calling an oil rig explosion lawyer at from our office at (888) 346-5024 today!

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I encountered professionalism, understanding, compassion… lot of compassion. They really felt for what me and my wife were going through.
~ Deepwater Horizon Crew Member

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