Samson Resources inestigates explosion at Wyoming oil well that killed three contractors

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Samson Resources Company is investigating a fatal accident at one of its oil wells in Converse County, Wyoming. 

On the morning of Monday, August 29, 2011, an explosion and fire at an oil storage tank occurred at Samson’s Black Island Federal #44-18X well site. Three contractors were killed in the accident. 

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims, their loved ones and colleagues,” said Phil Schmucker, senior vice president of operations for Samson. “We are deeply appreciative to the property owners, firefighters, law enforcement officers and other partners who rushed to the scene and dedicated their resources to assist.” 

The three contractors worked for two area service companies: Wild West Construction and Double D Welding & Fabrication. The men were working to bring the oil well back into production, an effort Samson has been undertaking since acquiring the asset earlier this year. 

The well is located about 23 miles north of Glenrock on a private ranch. While the property owners and firefighters were able to contain the fire to approximately 10 acres, authorities have restricted access to the wellsite during the investigation. 

Samson’s Emergency Response Team is on site to support local efforts. 

Samson, the Converse Country Sheriff’s Office and other authorities are investigating the cause of the accident; and Samson has stopped construction work at all its Powder River Basin assets until the preliminary cause of the accident is determined.

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