What’s Ahead? Future Health Challenges Facing the Oil and Gas Industry


Every day the oil and gas industry faces a multitude of global health care challenges, ranging from the exotic (i.e. African sleep disorder) to the mundane (i.e. heart attacks). Oftentimes the industry operates in remote areas, and the nearest hospital may be a two-hour plane ride away. Therefore, to ensure employees and their families receive the medical care they need, many oil and gas companies have built clinics and emergency stabilization facilities, and in some cases, full hospitals onsite.
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Drilling Down Six Top Safety Strategies for Oil and Gas Companies


138. That’s a new high, according to OSHA, of fatal injuries to oil and gas extraction workers in 2012, a 23 percent increase from 2011. More than 800 workers lost their lives on the job in the seven year stretch from 2003 to 2010. In a world where oil and gas companies produce millions of barrels per day, protecting these workers is a challenging task. Production can drop from millions of barrels a day to zero when a refinery shuts down due to an accident. Companies that develop and implement practices designed to promote a stronger safety culture, not only better serve their workers, but they also protect their bottom lines.
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Fracking The Next Great Mass Tort – If you Build It, They Will Come


Over the past several years, many in the legal community have predicted that hydraulic fracturing would bring about the next great mass tort.  Because mass torts typically involve allegations that a certain chemical or process has harmed a large number of people, a flood of such litigation seemed inevitable given the exponential increase in horizontal drilling.  While sporadic lawsuits have popped up around the country involving various aspects of the hydraulic fracturing process, the expected volume has not materialized.  One of the likely reasons more cases have not been filed, is that plaintiffs’ attorneys simply lack scientific evidence to support allegations that hydraulic fracturing as a systemic process causes the adverse health effects on which such claims would be based.
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Elevated Heavy Metals Near Natural Gas Extraction Sites in the Barnett Shale


In a recent peer-reviewed study published in Environmental Science and Technology, an American Chemical Society journal, our team of scientists from The University of Texas at Arlington sampled 100 private water wells to assess the potential effects of natural gas extraction on water quality in the Barnett Shale.  Our analyses revealed levels of heavy metals above the Environmental Protection Agency’s Maximum Contaminant Limit (MCL) in private well water samples located near natural gas extraction sites.
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