Oklahoma natural gas drilling rig catches fire


A Chesapeake Energy drilling rig caught fire Thursday night outside of Sweetwater, Okla., according to a company spokesman and an online oil field drilling forum.

The rig was drilling into a shallow gas pocket about four miles outside of Sweetwater when workers found an unexpectedly high pressure of natural gas at only 910 feet below the surface, Jim Gipson, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. The site was supposed to be drilled to more than 12,000 feet vertically before being drilled horizontally, Gipson said.

Soon after workers experienced the high pressure, the rig caught fire, sending flames several feet into the air, according to Drilling Ahead, an online drilling forum.

No injuries were reported, Gipson said.

“Well-control specialists are on the location,” Gipson said. ” There will be (a) very thorough investigation into the cause of the incident.”

The rig was owned by Nomac Drilling, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy.

Categories: Accidents, Natural gas

13 Responses

  1. bradley says:

    where’s chance buckman when you need him?

  2. Ben Thar says:

    Another possible example of how a poor casing program or poor cement allow high pressure fluid to migrate up and into to the shallow surface zones. If the well is not a wildcat, then the likely cause is man made.

  3. Mike H. says:

    At least this wasn’t a sour gas incident in OK, unlike this hair raiser:


  4. Trail_Tramp says:

    @Mike H. I think that has more to do with building homes on land where they own the surface rights, but not the minerals, as opposed to any fire danger from the well.

  5. Mike H. says:

    Some Banks won’t write loans for homes close to gas wells. You can see why here. At least no one got roasted by this one.

  6. Trail_Tramp says:

    We had a rig crater close to where we were drilling between Snyder and Aspermont and the gas was not methane. It was either N2 or CO2, I don’t remember which. Anyway, there was no fire. It just swallowed the rig within 3-days. All you could see sticking up was the crown of the derrick. The funny story was that when the rig hands were filling out the insurance forms for the personal effects they lost in their lockers on the rig, they all listed Rolex watches.

  7. Trail_Tramp says:

    @Dollar Right, more like common to certain areas. The area out west of Weatherford, TX is notorious for shallow gas sands.

  8. Dollar says:

    And I just saw Trail_Tramp’s comment and what he speaks of is the stories I heard. The entire rig would crater. Another instance of all the drill pipe getting blown out of the hole and laying around like pick up sticks.

  9. Dollar says:

    Let me clarify, I say they are common, its more like they occur there. I worked in the Hennessey area in the late 70’s and heard stories about those shallow pockets.

  10. ch3cooh says:

    Oh and clearly this video is fake since it’s impossible for fire to weaken steel! #sarcasm #truthersaredumb

  11. ch3cooh says:

    Glad to hear everyone is safe. Shallow gas makes just about everyone in drilling nervous. Unless someone nearby has hit it before it’s impossible to know if it’s there and just because no one has hit it before doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

  12. Dollar says:

    Hitting those shallow pockets of gas is common in western Oklahoma, been happening for years. Especially in the Hennessey / Enid area.

    They were drilling surface hole, most likely, and had no BOP. That’s how most occur.

    Glad no one was injured, CHK lost a rig though.

  13. Trail_Tramp says:

    Glad to hear nobody was hurt. Those over-pressured shallow gas zones can bite you. They are rare, so people tend to get complacent. Most will blow down pretty quick, but some have been known to blow out around the the surface casing, turn the ground to quick-sand and swallow the rig.