One Hurt as ND Rig Catches Fire

Thursday, March 27, 2014 @ 05:03 PM gHale


A pressure build up led to a material escape and then a blaze that left one man injured at a Nabors oil rig Tuesday afternoon near Watford City in North Dakota.

Nabors B8, a production rig, was on a Whiting Petroleum site when part of the floor and site burst into flames at 4:16 p.m.

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Brian Busby, who worked at the site, suffered an injury in the explosion and ended up transported to McKenzie County Hospital for treatment, said the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office. His injuries were non-life threatening burns on his head and hands.

The initial cause of the fire was a pressure build up that caused material to escape and ignite, officials said.

Watford City and Keene fire departments, McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office and McKenzie County Ambulance responded to the incident, which located on Flatland Federal 11-4TFHU, 15 miles north on Highway 1806.

The sheriff’s office said after the fire slowed fire crews were able to apply foam to put it out.

Officials said an inspector was on-site, but no additional information was available. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the incident.

The Department of Mineral Resources on Wednesday sent an inspector to the site, which is about 17 miles northeast of Watford City, said spokeswoman Alison Ritter.

No releases of crude oil or other liquids ended up reported because of the fire, Ritter said. Personnel from Nabors were inspecting the rig structure and the top drive for damage, Ritter said.

Crews were drilling at about 15,000 feet at the time of the fire, Ritter said. The cause of the fire is under investigation, she said.



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