I’m sure by now most people in the Canadian oil and gas industry are aware of the frac location accident in northern BC. that resulted in the death of a Cal Frac employee. The incident happened off the Jedney Road on March 11, 2015. It’s a sad time when a tragedy like this happens and it’s also extremely rare.
Having spent a portion of the winter working up in this area for Progress Energy and Cal Frac, I thought I’d pass on my thoughts on this incident. I was actually on this particular frac location twice, with the last time being the night before it happened.
First, we send out our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the deceased. (We will not post his name here). It’s extremely unfortunate that tragedies like this happen to such good people.
Having worked for Cal Frac and Progress Energy as a third party contractor many times over the years, I can tell you first hand they’re two of the best companies I’ve ever worked for. Their policies and procedures for safety are among the highest (if not, the highest) in the industry. Having friends that work for Cal Frac, I can tell you they all take pride in their jobs, and the company they work for.
A lot of people have been wondering what actually happened on location. People always seem to think the worst when they hear about an accident where injury or death occurs. We won’t fully know what happened until an investigation is complete. One media source has reported it may have happened from working around high pressure nitrogen lines and valves. They’re right. It was a high pressure nitrogen line.
All the equipment used in the fracturing process goes through vigorous ongoing testing on a daily basis, as well as, routine scheduled maintenance. The pumps, pressure vessels, tanks, lines, iron, fittings and every connection in between are secured, double checked and triple checked, yet there will always remain human error and mechanical failure. In this case, it was human error.
To explain everything that goes on during a fracturing operation would make one think it is a dangerous occupation. The complete opposite is true. Watching these crews work in the field is actually an education in operating safely. Furthermore, Cal Frac is a leader in removing hazards and risks before an incident can even happen. They have pioneered safety systems including one to remove frac sand silica dust and with it, the pressurized lines from unloading with pneumatic systems.
I’m sure the investigation will reveal exactly what happened. In the meantime, we stand behind all the workers and companies that hold safety in such a high regard as these two companies do.
At Truckerswheel we’re confident that the investigating teams will quickly wrap up this incident and continue operating at the highest level of safety. We are dedicated to helping raise awareness of industry practices and safety. Our wish is that every worker makes it home safely to their loved ones at the end of each shift.
Thanks for reading Frac Location Accident
The Truckerswheel Team