Federal authorities cited and fined three oil and gas companies for exposing workers to dangerous hazards after a deadly explosion and fire on a drilling rig in January.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Crescent Consulting of Oklahoma City and Patterson-UTI of Houston for not maintaining proper controls while drilling a well.
The two companies and a third, Oklahoma City’s Skyline Directional Drilling, were all cited for improperly using a heat lamp near the combustible opening of the well.
OSHA fined the companies a total of $118,643. The companies, which did not immediately reply to requests for comment, can contest the agency’s findings.
The explosion and fire at at the natural gas drilling site near Quinton, Okla., kept emergency crews at bay for hours and created a black plume that was visible for miles. Five workers were killed; one worker was hospitalized with burns and 16 others escaped uninjured.
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