The oil and gas extraction sector includes many jobs that are the lifeblood of Oklahoma’s economy. Work in this sector includes:
- Exploring for crude oil and natural gas
- Drilling, equipping, and completing wells
- Operation of emulsion breakers, separators, emulsion breakers, and desilting equipment, and field gathering lines for crude petroleum and natural gas
- Producing crude petroleum
- The mining and extraction of oil from oil shale and oil sands
- Natural gas production
- Recovering sulfur from natural gas
- Recovering hydrocarbon liquids
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which itemized the work activities just listed, the US oil and gas sectors employs:
- Petroleum engineers. 10,820 workers
- Wellhead pumpers. 8, 120 workers
- Roustabouts, oil and gas. 4,900 workers
- Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers. 4,640 workers.
- Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers. 4,170 workers
As of October 2020, there were:
- 159,100 oil and gas workers of all types (seasonally adjusted)
- 92,8000 production and nonsupervisory employees
- The average amount an employee earned on an hourly basis was $47.92
- The average employee worked 40.8 hours a week
The death and injury data for 2019, which is the most recent available, shows a marked increase over the last few years. In 2016, and average of 9 out of every 100 oil and gas industry workers died; in 2018, that number had increased to 22 out of every 100.
Oil and gas worker fatalities increased by a greater percentage
Per BLS, the overall number of worker deaths rose 2% from the 2018 numbers. Construction and extraction occupations, however, rose 6%. The greatest percentage of fatal accidents were transportation related; BLS reports that “Nearly 1 out of every 5 fatally injured workers was employed as a driver/sales worker or truck driver.” It did not break down how many of those drivers worked in oil and gas, but on average, about transportation accidents account for about 41% of all fatal oil and gas industry accidents.
At Cunningham & Mears, our Oklahoma City oilfield accident attorneys understand that employees and contractors place their lives and safety on the line each day they work. Our skilled lawyers have the experience and resources to help injury victims get justice. We file personal injury claims, wrongful death claims, product liability claims, and workers’ compensation claims. For help with any type of oilfield accident, call our Oklahoma City lawyers at 405.232.1212 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment.
Ryan Y. Cunningham is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Cunningham devotes his practice to protecting the rights of injured Oklahoma residents. In addition to assisting injured clients, Mr. Cunningham endeavors to improve personal injury representation by speaking on issues related to personal injury law to attorneys in continuing legal education courses and to law students. Learn More