Thursday, September 29, 2016

C L Well Service fined just $2,800, after derrick hand was not connected to an appropriate safety anchor for the job he was performing and fell 76 feet to his death

Company fined $2,800 after worker death in Midwest, WY. 
By federal regulations, C L’s small company size led to a 60 percent reduction in that fee

Heather Richards 307-266-0592,
Updated 9 hrs ago


A well service company,
C L Well Service will be fined $2,800 after one of its employees, Dennis McCulloch, fell from a workover rig July 14 in Midwest, according to state documents.

State investigators determined the 28-year-old derrick hand was not connected to an appropriate safety anchor for the job he was performing.

McCulloch was employed by C L Well Service. A person who answered the phone at the company office hung up on a reporter seeking comment Wednesday.

The company was a contractor working with FDL Energy, which operates the oil field. McCulloch fell between 74 and 78 feet and died as a result of impact injuries, according to the Natrona County coroner.

Failing to provide appropriate safety lines and anchors for employees is considered a serious violation by the Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

However, in this case, proper equipment was available. It was improperly used, state investigators said.

“When he first hooked up, he was hooked up in the right location,” said John Ysebaert, the Department of Workforce Services’ standards and compliance administrator, who oversees the OSHA division. “He did some work going around the derrick at the top and did not move his anchor point along with him. That is when it came across the block, and it ended up cutting the line.”

McCulloch was considered a highly competent worker by those interviewed by investigators, Ysebaert said. The incident appeared to be a momentary lapse in judgment, he said.

The penalty levied on C L is well below the maximum penalty for a serious violation, which is $7,000. By federal regulations, C L’s small company size led to a 60 percent reduction in that fee. The maximum fine for serious violations will increase in February by 78 percent to $12,471.

Despite the circumstances of this incident, the company is still considered responsible for providing a safe and supervised work environment, Ysebaert said.

Employers can argue that their workers were negligent and thus mitigate their liability. In that case, a company must provide evidence, including its written rules, proof of training, proof of appropriate enforcement and consequences for noncompliance.

C L has yet to ask regulators for an informal meeting where they would be able to discuss the fines, Ysebaert said.

Wyoming is often cited for having a poor worker safety record, though some argue the method for calculating occupational deaths inflate the state’s rates. Wyoming’s small population and its large percentage of workers in dangerous jobs also counts against the state, some say.

Later this week the Department of Workforce Services will release a report detailing 2015 workplace fatalities by industry and cause.


Wrong safety line may have contributed to oil worker's death

Heather Richards 307-266-0592,
Aug 25, 2016

An improperly used safety cable may have contributed to the July death of an oil rig worker in Midwest, a Natrona County sheriff’s official said Thursday.

Details are still emerging about what happened when Dennis McCulloch, of Casper fell from a height between 74 and 78 feet, with official reports yet to be completed.

What is known is the 28-year-old derrick hand was on a workover rig in the Salt Creek Oil Field when he fell on the morning of July 14.

McCulloch was attached to a safety retention lanyard, according Sgt. Aaron Shatto of the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office.

However, the lanyard — a cable attached to an anchor to prevent falls — wasn’t properly used, Shatto said. The line attached to McCulloch was designed for vertical falls. In this case, the lanyard sustained significant side pressure, causing it to unravel and eventually break, according to the sheriff’s office records.

McCullouch was seen standing on a platform on the side of the rig before the accident. Five other workers were on-site, either on the ground or on a lower level of the rig, when McCulloch fell.

He likely died upon impact, according to the Natrona County Coroner’s office.

Midwest Police Chief Jaimie Jones was the first law enforcement official on the scene. Jones was on his day off, but in the vicinity when McCulloch fell.

An investigation into the incident will likely be complete in a few weeks, said John Ysebaert, the Department of Workforce Services’ Standards and Compliance Administrator. Ysebaert oversees the state division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

If the investigation finds that a company was at fault in McCulloch’s death, the firm will have the opportunity to protest any OSHA citations in an informal meeting with the regulators.

A company can submit additional evidence or plead for a reduction in the penalty amount based on its compliance history, preventive safety measures and the its size, Ysebaert said. Initial negotiations between OSHA representatives and the offending company are held behind closed doors.

McCullough was working for C L Well Service Inc. at the time of the incident. The oil field is operated by FDL Energy. The Texas-based company has launched a third-party investigation of the incident, part of its internal health and safety protocol, Ysebaert said. A wireline service company was also on site at the time of McCulloch’s fall. The company was collecting data from inside the well.

In oil and gas incidents, it is not unusual for multiple companies to be involved on a single work site, Ysebaert said.

C L Well Service has not had any safety violations since at least 2011, according to OSHA’s public records. A company representative could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Wyoming does not have the best reputation for workplace safety compared to other states.

Thirty-one people died on the job in 2014, the most recent state report available. Fourteen of those deaths were workers in the oil and gas industry.

To better understand Wyoming’s poor record, a number of factors should be considered, said Meredith Towle, the state occupational epidemiologist.

“In the federal system they are calculating rates, so it is the number of fatalities per employment. Wyoming has one of the lowest populations in the country, so our denominator is small, and our rate is higher,” Towle said. “Our industry mix is filled with very high risk jobs in mining, construction, transportation. That is part of the driving force too. We have a smaller workforce, but we also have a workforce that is heavily concentrated in high risk occupations.”

OSHA recently increased the maximum fine amounts for safety violations. Wyoming will adopt the 78 percent increase for maximum penalties next year. Current penalties were set in 1990s.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

An oil worker with Rawlins-based C L Well Service Inc, fell 76-feet to his death while working on a rig near Midwest, Wyoming

Officials say worker died after 76-foot fall

Heather Richards 307-266-0592,
Updated 6 hrs ago

JULY 16, 2016

Natrona County, WY
Authorities continued their investigation Friday into the death of a 28-year-old oil worker who fell to his death while working on a rig near Midwest.

The Natrona County Coroner’s Office identified the worker as Dennis McCulloch of Casper. He fell 76 feet Thursday and died instantly, officials said.

Safety equipment was in place at the time of the incident, according to the coroner’s office. An autopsy will be scheduled next week.

McCulloch was a contractor with Rawlins-based C L Well Service Inc. The company was working with FDL Energy, which operates the oil field outside of Midwest.

An early report that the man was crushed by equipment was false, according to the Natrona County sheriff’s office, which is investigating the incident.

FDL Energy and the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration are also investigating the man’s death.

Officials for the regulatory agency were on site Friday morning, interviewing employees. No one saw what took place before McCulloch fell, said John Ysebaert, DWS standards and compliance administrator.

The agency has 180 days to issue citations if any violations of safety protocol are discovered during the investigation.

“The biggest thing they are trying to do is find what caused the accident,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this point.”

A workover rig was used recently to investigate a gas leak near Midwest Schools. Thursday’s death was unrelated to that investigation and well closure, authorities said.

KKR and Fleur de Lis Energy to Acquire Wyoming EOR Assets

KKR Builds on Producing Oil and Gas Strategy with Wyoming Acquisition
April 01, 2015 04:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time

NEW YORK & DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--KKR and Fleur de Lis Energy (“FDL”) today announced the closing of an acquisition of certain CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) properties (the “Assets”) from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. The Assets are located in the Powder River and Green River Basins of Wyoming.

Commenting on the acquisition, FDL CEO Porter Trimble stated: “The FDL team has a deep history and significant experience acquiring and operating similar, high quality oil fields under tertiary recovery. These fields have over 2 billion barrels of original oil in place, with only a portion of that recovered to-date. These are exactly the type of long-lived oil assets we look to own and operate”

The Assets include the Salt Creek Field, Monell Field, Linch Field and Howell Pipeline with approximately 14,000 boe/d of net production and CO2 pipeline capacity of 270 mmcf/d. The Assets also include an attractive inventory of near-term development opportunities.

“This is a very interesting time in the cycle to be acquiring long-lived, producing oil assets, and we are pleased to be able to do so in partnership with the Fleur de Lis team. Porter and his team have a strong track record of creating value with mature tertiary recover projects by finding opportunities to enhance performance.” said Jonathan Smidt, a Member of KKR.

Founded by former Merit Energy Company Vice Chairman, Porter Trimble, FDL currently manages 7,400 BOE/day of natural gas assets in Southern Mississippi and oil assets in the Permian Basin of West Texas. KKR and FDL entered into a partnership in 2014 to pursue investments in producing oil and gas properties in North America. This is the third acquisition acquired as part of that partnership, following the July 2014 acquisition of Selma Chalk properties from Penn Virginia Corporation and the November 2014 acquisition of Wolfberry assets from Linn Energy, LLC.

KKR’s Global Energy & Infrastructure business invests across the entire energy supply chain and the firm manages approximately $10 billion in energy and infrastructure related assets. KKR's energy and infrastructure team is composed of approximately 40 investment professionals globally, 25 of whom are based in North America.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world‐class people, and driving growth and value creation at the asset level. KKR invests its own capital alongside its partners' capital and brings opportunities to others through its capital markets business. References to KKR's investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), please visit KKR's website at

About Fleur de Lis Energy

Fleur de Lis Energy, L.L.C., (“FDL”) is a private energy firm with over $1 Billion of available capital to acquire, operate and exploit oil and gas assets in North America. Headquartered in Dallas, TX, FDL’s goal is to generate attractive risk adjusted returns and stable cash distributions to its investors through the acquisition, exploitation and operation of a diverse portfolio of oil and gas properties in North America. The FDL management team has successfully executed this strategy through all of the varying market cycles in the past 25 years.