Is Colorado Rich in Oil?
Colorado has approximately 3% of the United States economically recoverable crude oil reserves. In 2021, Colorado produced about 4 times more crude oil than in 2010, mainly from the increased use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies.
How Big is the Oil Industry in Colorado?
According to the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, the industry accounts for nearly 90,000 local jobs. A 2021 report commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute (API) put the figure even higher, at 340,000 jobs in Colorado — 1 out of every 8 jobs in the state.
Related Article: Oil Field Accident and Injury Lawsuit Update
What is the Biggest Oil Field in Colorado?
The Wattenberg Gas Field is a large producing area of natural gas and condensates in the Denver Basin of central Colorado. Discovered in 1970, Wattenberg was one of the first places where massive hydraulic fracturing was successfully conducted on thousands of wells.
Related Article: Gas Field Accident Lawsuit Update
Lax Regulations Lead to Dozens of Deaths in Colorado Oil & Gas Workers: Report
In a massive industry that generates more than $15 billion worth of production in Colorado but receives less scrutiny from workplace-safety inspectors than roofers and homebuilders, at least 51 oil and gas workers in Colorado were killed between 2003 and 2014, according to the Denver Post .
A year-long investigation by the Post found that there is little consequence when oil and gas companies fail to protect their employees. A national legacy of encouraging oil and gas development has come at the cost of thousands of lives and created a regulatory vacuum.
Nationwide, at least 1,333 workers died in U.S. oil and gas fields between 2003 and 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The nationwide death toll in 2014 of 144 was the highest in over a decade. By another metric — the number of worker deaths per active drilling rig — 2014 was the 2nd deadliest year in Colorado in a decade, as there was about 1 death per every 12 rigs that year.
Related Article: How Dangerous Is Oil Field Work?
Energy Company Fined After Colorado Inspector Injured at Well Site
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) in October 2022 fined the oil and natural gas company Terra Energy Partners $78,500 for rule violations at a Colorado well pad where a state inspector was severely injured when he fell into a concealed, 5-foot-deep trench.
The accident occurred during a routine inspection of the well site when the inspector was walking outside of the fenceline and fell into 1 of the holes. Both holes had been covered by snow and the caution tape had broken.
The inspector was transported to the Grand River Hospital and Medical Center for treatment.
Within 2 days of the accident, Terra Energy Partners installed ratchet straps around each hole and covered the holes with heavy-duty metal covers.
Per the COGCC order, Terra Energy Partners was forced to pay 10% as a fine, and cover the rest of the penalty by spending at least $70,650 on a “public project.” That entails plugging at least 1 orphaned well in Garfield, Mesa, or Rio Blanco counties, and/or performing other work at 1 or more orphaned sites.
Colorado Gas Worker Dies from Burn Injuries
An oil and gas worker who suffered severe burns in a fire in Garfield County, Colorado, died from his injuries in May 2022.
The victim, 29-year-old Juan Daniel Carranza-Cornejo, was filling an oil tank at a fuel pad when a spark ignited an explosion that injured him.
Carranza-Cornejo was treated on the scene and then rushed to a local hospital. The death was certified as an accident and the cause was listed as complications from thermal burns.
Worker Killed in Colorado Fracking Accident
An accident at a fracking site in Colorado killed 1 worker and seriously injured 2 others in November 2014 as they attempted to thaw a high-pressure water line that had frozen in record-breaking cold conditions, according to Reuters .
One person was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other 2 were transferred to an area hospital after the accident near Mead in Weld County, about 30 miles north of Denver.
“What is known at this time is that a high-pressured water line ruptured, resulting in the injuries and fatality,” the fire department said.
The accident took place at an Anadarko Petroleum Corp location during fracking operations being carried out by Halliburton Co.
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Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Colorado Oil Field Accident and Injury Lawyers
The personal injury lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP have experience dealing with the rights of American oilfield workers, and we are one of the only firms willing to handle oilfield workplace accidents in Colorado and throughout the entire United States.
Again, if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an oilfield accident, you should contact our oil field accident lawyers immediately by using the form below or calling our law firm toll-free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600 to schedule a free case review and legal options.
Clients may be able to recover fair compensation for medical expenses from an oil company in a lawsuit and a personal injury lawyer can help.