A Texas man taking part in a oil well workover died after an incident Wednesday near Mannsville in Oklahoma, officials said.
Ernesto Rodriguez, 41, of Gainsville, TX, died Wednesday afternoon while his employer, Mercer Well Service, was conducting workover operations on an XTO Energy Inc. well in Johnston County, OK.
“We are deeply saddened by this incident,” XTO spokeswoman Suann Lundsberg said. She said she did not have any details about what happened at the site.
The well remains shut pending an investigation.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is on the site and investigating the incident. The agency has six months to complete its investigation.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reported the incident did not have any environmental impact.
Workovers are difficult and complex and only performed if a completed well needs adjustments or fixes to become a stronger functioning entity. Some reasons why a company may need to perform a workover is the production tubing may have suffered damage due to operational factors like corrosion to the point where well integrity ends up threatened. Downhole components such as tubing, retrievable downhole safety valves, or electrical submersible pumps may have malfunctioned, needing replacement.
In other cases, the reason for a workover may be changing reservoir conditions make the former completion unsuitable.