November 27, 2022
A pump jack operates in entrance of a drilling rig owned by Exxon close to Carlsbad, New Mexico, U.S. February 11, 2019.

Exxon Mobil issued a brief “stand-down” throughout its U.S. shale operations final week following back-to-back employee accidents, together with one fatality, in accordance with folks accustomed to the matter.

The incidents, one in every of which marked the second loss of life this yr of a contractor, comes at a turning level for oilfield service companies straining to rent employees to restart some operations. Job cuts two years in the past associated to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a scarcity of skilled oilfield workers.

The stand-down follows two employee accidents inside days at manufacturing websites run by Exxon’s shale unit and comes as Exxon is going through a number of negligence lawsuits.

A employee was injured in West Texas this month and an Axis Power Providers workman performing restore work was killed final Tuesday in east Texas. In March, a lady was crushed to loss of life at one other West Texas website operated by Exxon.

“The security and well being of our workforce is all the time our high precedence. Every time there’s an incident, we double our efforts to bolster security,” Exxon stated in response to questions in regards to the stand-down.

The highest U.S. oil producer additionally stated it was actively working with contractors to enhance security.

The stand-down didn’t have an effect on oil manufacturing, Exxon stated, however exercise was halted throughout upkeep work at a website following final week’s fatality, Reuters reported final week.

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Oil and fuel executives have pointed to the dearth of expert employees affecting their operations in a Dallas Federal Reserve Financial institution survey launched this week.

“We’re seeing a larger share of hires who’re new to the business,” stated one government stated, lamenting the provision of certified folks.

Exxon or its shale subsidiary XTO Power this yr have confronted at the very least six negligence lawsuits ensuing from accidents in west Texas, in accordance with complaints filed in Harris County District Courtroom in Houston. Every lawsuit seeks damages exceeding $1 million.

The newest lawsuit was filed Aug. 26 by an oilfield employee struck by a drill pipe in Martin County, Texas. That swimsuit adopted one other filed days earlier by an employee injured after getting pinned underneath a 400-pound properly panel in San Augustine County, Texas.

Uriel Tehy was injured whereas engaged on a properly website close to Carlsbad, New Mexico, in accordance with a lawsuit filed in a Texas courtroom which stated XTO failed to make sure gear on location was in good working situation.

New Mexico fined XTO $2.25 million this yr for failing to adjust to necessities protecting 5 underground injection wells. It individually reported 15 fires at its New Mexico operations, in accordance with the state’s oil regulator. Final yr, it reported 22 such incidents.

Signage is seen at an Exxon gas station in Brooklyn, New York City
Signage is seen at an Exxon fuel station in Brooklyn, New York Metropolis, U.S., November 23, 2021.