The 2014 death of an oilfield worker at a Continental Resources well in North Dakota is one of two incidents now under investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The worker, Zachary Buckles died from toxic vapors at a well near Alexander, North Dakota. He was a “flow tester” assigned to measure tank levels by hand and was found slumped near a tank hatch. Buckles was only 20 when he died.
The other incident involved a 21-year old man who died at a Marathon Oil Corp. operation.
The EPA has asked Continental Resources Inc. and Marathon Oil Corp. for information to determine if their operations violated the Clean Air Act on the days of the deaths, according to a report by Energy Wire.
The report indicated there are seven other oil-field deaths where poisonous vapors are suspected. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has identified the case.
Energy Wire quoted one former EPA official as stating that the investigation could indicate that the agency is looking at criminal violations.