Skip to Main Content

Oilfield Accident and Injury Lawyers

Oilfield Accident Lawyers with the Largest Wins in History

The oil and gas industry is a significant driver of the nation’s economy.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of October 2023, oilfields from Pennsylvania to Alaska and Texas to North Dakota employed over 119,000 people in positions that included pump system operators, refinery operators, gaugers, roustabouts, well-head pumpers and more, with the average workers’ wage exceeding $49 per hour. 

However, oil extraction often comes at a tremendous cost to the workers who keep the Permian Basin, the Marcellus Shale, the Eagle Ford, the Bakken Formation, and the nation’s many other significant oil and gas plays producing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Unfortunately, the combination of volatile hydrocarbons, heavy machinery, and non-stop operations create a dangerous workplace where just a small spark can lead to devastating consequences for workers and their families.

Where Are U.S. Oilfields Located?

According to the Energy Information Administration, six states —Texas, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and North Dakota— account for 55% of the nation’s primary energy production. In terms of onshore oil and gas production, the states with the most active oilfields include:


While offshore oil drilling dominates Louisiana’s vital energy sector, the state also ranks third in the nation for natural gas production and fifth in proven natural gas reserves. These reserves allow the state to produce about 10% of the nation’s total marketed natural gas production.

Onshore production in Louisiana is mostly focused on the Haynesville Shale, where top players include Exxon Mobil, Comstock Resources, Southwestern Energy, Chesapeake Energy, Amplify Energy, BP Plc, Osaka Gas, Castleton Resources, Exco Resources, Chevron Corp, Matador Resources, and New Century Exploration.

New Mexico

New Mexico shares the oil-rich Permian Basin with Texas and ranked as the nation’s second-largest crude oil producer, just behind the Lone Star State. New Mexico accounts for more than 13% of total crude oil output in the United States.

The state’s active oil and gas producers include EOG Resources, Devon Energy, ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum, XTO Energy, Mewbourne Oil, Chevron, Matador Production Company, Cimarex Energy Co. Apache Corporation, and Marathon Oil Permian.

North Dakota

The Bakken Formation constitutes one of the largest deposits of oil and natural gas in the United States, and its vast reserves helped to make North Dakota the nation’s second-largest energy-producing state. The most active drilling companies in the Bakken included Continental Resources, Chord Energy, Hess, Marathon, ExxonMobil, Enerplus, Grayson Mill Energy, Chevron, Slawson, and ConocoPhillips.


The nation’s fifth-largest producer of marketed natural gas and the sixth-largest producer of crude oil as of 2023, Oklahoma’s oilfields include the Greater Anadarko Basin, the Arkoma Basin, the Arbuckle-Simpson Trend, the Granite Wash, the Sooner Trend (SCOOP) and South Central Oklahoma Oil Province (STACK), the Panhandle-Hugoton Field, and the North Burbank Field. The Sooner State’s most active oil and gas operations includ 101 Energy Corporation, 1978 Investments, 2015 Oil, 20/20 Oil & Gas, 212 Operating, 21ST Century Investment Company, 3 BC Co, 3-B Oil Co, 3D Oil Company, and 3Fearns. 


Thanks to the Marcellus Shale, Pennsylvania is the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas  –  after Texas. The Keystone State’s most active drillers includ EQT Corp., Chesapeake Energy Corp., Coterra Energy Inc., Range Resources Corp. and Southwestern Energy Co.


Texas has led the nation in crude oil and natural gas production since 1988. In addition to the the Permian Basin, its major oilfields include the Barnett Shale, the Eagle Ford Shale, the Granite Wash, and the Haynesville/Bossier Shale. In 2022, Pioneer Natural Resources ranked first in the Lone Star State for wells drilled, with 430. Diamondback held second place with 279, followed by ConocoPhillips (260), Endeavor Energy (259), OXYUSA (247), EOG Resources (203), XTO Energy (188), Chevron (144), Crownquest Operating (127) and BPX (118).

West Virginia

While West Virginia is best known for coal mining, the Marcellus and Utica shales have transformed the Mountain State. In fact, in 2019,  natural gas production surpassed coal for the first time, becoming the largest contributor to West Virginia’s energy economy. The most active drillers in the state include Antero Resources Corporation, Arsenal Resources, CNX Gas Company, Diversified Production, Eqt Chap, Eqt Production Company, Greylock Conventional, and HG Energy II Appalachia.


Wyoming is a major producer of coal, crude oil, and natural gas and currently accounts for 2% of the nation’s total crude oil output. Wyoming also ranks among the top 10 states in both natural gas reserves and marketed natural gas production. Active drillers include Amplify Energy Operating, Anadarko E&P Onshore, Anschutz Exploration Corporation, Ballard Petroleum Holdings, Carbon Creek Energy, Contango Resources LLC, Continental Resources, Crowheart Energy, Denbury Onshore, and Devon Energy Production Company.

Oilfield Injury and Death Statistics

Since U.S. oilfields began producing in the 1850s, the oil and gas industry has become a major driver of the nation’s economy. In fact, total energy production in the United States currently exceeds more than 16 million barrels per day.

Technological advances haven’t just made the nation’s oil and gas wells more productive than ever; they’ve also driven significant safety improvements for the industry’s workers. Yet oilfields remain exceptionally dangerous places to work and appear to be growing ever more hazardous by the year.

According to the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IAOG), the rate of U.S. oilfield worker fatalities was actually 36% higher in 2021 compared to 2020. The overall total recordable injury rate (fatalities, lost workday cases, restricted workday cases, and medical treatment cases) also increased by 10% in 2021 compared to the prior year.

Of the 580 lost workday cases (injuries resulting in at least one day off work) reported by IAOG member companies in 2021:

  • 453 incidents were contractor-related, and 127 were company-related.
  • 113 cases were categorized as ‘Slips and trips (at the same height) compared to 99 such incidents in 2020
  • “Struck by (not dropped object)” accounted for 106 cases versus 91 cases in 2020)
  • “Caught in, under or between (excl. dropped objects)” was cited as the cause in 98 cases, one fewer than in 2020.

Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and North Dakota Lead the Nation in Fatal Oilfield Accidents

While the oil extraction industry operates in 32 states around the nation, just five of those states accounted for 71% of total U.S. crude oil production in 2022.

Texas – home to the Permian Basin, the nation’s top-producing oilfield, as well as the Eagle Ford and Barnett shale formations – was the largest domestic producer of oil in the United States. Texas was followed by North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Colorado.

It’s difficult to say which states log the most oilfield worker deaths, as the Centers for Disease Control last issued such a report in 2017. Not surprisingly, Texas led the field that year, with a total of 44 oil and gas work fatalities. Oklahoma was a distant second, with three oilfield deaths. Louisiana reported four oilfield fatalities in 2017, followed by New Mexico and North Dakota with three each. The remaining top 10 states – Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, and Wyoming – each reported fewer than three oilfield worker deaths that year.

Federal Safety Regulations Oil Companies are Required to Follow to Protect their Employees

Oilfield work is particularly dangerous simply because workers routinely operate specialized equipment and regularly handle or come in contact with various volatile chemicals and other hazardous substances. Because of these inherent hazards, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration has established strict regulations that oilfield companies must follow to ensure the safety of their workers, including:

  • Supply workers with personal protective equipment that fits properly and offers protection to appropriate standards at no cost to workers.
  • Alert workers of potentially hazardous areas using color codes, labels, posters, and signage.
  • Have tools and equipment in the facility that are safe and adequately maintained.
  • Act to remedy any violations found by a compliance officer following a worksite inspection.
  • Provide OSHA oil and gas training to workers in a language they understand.
  • Communicate requirements of established operating procedures.

The Most Common Causes of Oilfield Injuries and Deaths

Specific rules, regulations, and industry standards have also been established to protect workers from the most common causes of oilfield injuries and deaths, including:

  • Motor vehicle crashes: Roughly 4 of every 10 workers killed on the job in the oil and gas industry die due to oilfield truck accidents and other motor vehicle collisions.
  • Struck-by/caught-in/caught-between hazards: 3 of every 5 U.S. oilfield deaths involve moving vehicles and equipment, falling equipment, and high-pressure lines.
  • Oilfield explosions and fires: Oilfield workers face a risk of injury and death from the ignition of flammable gases and liquids,
  • Well Blowouts: Blowouts — the uncontrolled release of oil or gas from a well due to the failure of its pressure control system – often trigger catastrophic explosions and fires.
  • Confined spaces: Confined spaces around a wellhead can expose workers to flammable gases, toxic vapors, and hazardous chemicals.
  • Uncontrolled energy hazards: Equipment powered by electrical, hydraulic, or mechanical energy poses a significant danger if not properly designed, installed, maintained and grounded, or operated.
  • Falls: According to the National Institute of Health, 86% of derrickmen who suffered a fatal fall on the job weren’t using appropriate fall protection at the time. Failure to guard openings, ladders, open pits, floor holes, and stairs is also one of the top violations cited during OSHA oilfield inspections.

You Can’t Depend on Your Company After An Oil Field Accident

Having successfully represented thousands of oilfield workers across the United States, we’ve learned that no matter what they may tell you, oil companies will never take full responsibility when their workers are injured or killed due to their negligence. Instead, they hire a team of lawyers and do whatever possible to avoid accountability and limit your financial recovery to worker’s compensation benefits, even if that means blaming you for your injuries and “losing” or misplacing critical evidence proving the company was at fault.

Many injured workers are also surprised that workers’ compensation death benefits don’t cover all their monthly wages or allow them to see the doctors of their choice. This is especially true of oilfield workers, who tend to earn higher wages compared to workers in many other fields.

Keep in mind that workers’ compensation also won’t come close to covering the damages you could be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit, including future lost wages, future medical bills, and your pain and suffering.

If your loved one was tragically killed in an oilfield accident or explosion, Workers’ Compensation death benefits also won’t compensate you for many of the damages you could otherwise obtain in a wrongful death lawsuit, including the loss of future income and the human losses, like the mental anguish and loss of companionship that accompany the loss of a loved one.

What to Do After an Oilfield Accident or Explosion

If you or a family member were injured or severely burned while working at well site, or your loved one died tragically in an oilfield accident, fire, or explosion, the steps you take immediately and in the subsequent days, weeks, and months will be pivotal in determining whether you receive the maximum compensation possible or are limited to workers’ compensation payments that probably won’t come close to covering the wages most oil and gas workers typically earn on the job.

  • Prompt Medical Attention: Seek immediate medical care after any oilfield incident. Not all injuries are immediately apparent, and swift attention ensures prompt diagnosis. Medical records serve as crucial evidence linking your injuries to the incident.
  • Notify Your Employer: Report the injury promptly to your supervisor or the designated person on the oilfield. Timely reporting is essential for initiating investigations and ensuring proper protocols are followed.
  • Document the Incident and Gather Evidence: Record all details, no matter how minor, including time, location, and circumstances. Collect contact information from witnesses, if possible, and take photos or videos of the scene. Also, preserve the clothes and shoes you were wearing, as well as any other evidence in your possession. Don’t launder or alter anything. Leave everything exactly as it was immediately after you were injured, and store it in a clean plastic bag.
  • Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to healthcare professionals’ advice, attend scheduled appointments, and follow prescribed treatments. This not only aids recovery but also strengthens your case by preventing doubts about the severity of your injuries.
  • Avoid Speaking to the Insurance Company: Refrain from communicating with the oil and gas company’s insurance adjuster, and don’t let them pressure you into signing any documents, providing a recorded statement, or accepting any payments other than your regular paycheck. 
  • Limit Discussions About Your Injury or the Accident: Share details only with medical providers, your spouse, and your attorney. Avoid discussing your case with others or on social media, as this information could be used against you to undermine your claims for full compensation.

What Distinguishes Our Undefeated Oilfield Lawyers?

When an oilfield accident results in a serious injury or death, it’s essential to have an experienced oilfield injury attorney - someone who’s successfully taken on the world’s largest oil and gas companies and recovered the largest Oilfield Injury Settlements in History – fighting for you and your family’s future.

Our Undefeated Oilfield Accident Lawyers have consistently won record-breaking verdicts and settlements for our clients, including the #1 Largest Oilfield Accident Settlement in History and #1 Largest Burn Injury Settlement in History. Why have we been so successful?

  • We limit our caseload, ensuring each and every client receives the attention they deserve,
  • We never accept anything less than the maximum compensation available.
  • We know the oil and gas industry, including the safety rules and regulations governing worker safety.
  • And most importantly, we’re always ready for trial if the company refuses to fully compensate our clients for all of their damages and losses.

To see what our clients say about their experience with our firm, just visit our Client Testimonial page or our firm’s YouTube Channel.

Undefeated Oilfield Accident Lawyers: Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation

With Billions won and the largest oilfield accident recoveries in history, our Oilfield Accident Lawyers have the resources and knowledge to win against the nation’s largest energy companies and ensure our clients can access the best medical care available and provide for themselves and their families for the rest of their lives.

If you or a loved one were seriously injured or tragically killed in an oilfield accident or explosion, our Undefeated Oilfield Accident Lawyers have the resources, knowledge, and experience to hold the company accountable and ensure you and your family receive the maximum recovery possible for all your injuries and losses.

All consultations are free, and you won’t pay a dime unless we win your case.

Please call 1-888-603-3636, use the “chat” button on our homepage, or click here to send us a confidential email through our “Contact Us” form.

We’ll answer your questions, explain your rights, and provide all the information you need to decide what’s best for you and your family,