Owner of deadly Oklahoma rig suffers another rig fire but no loss of life

Workers managed to escape unhurt when a drilling rig caught fire Monday morning in West Texas near Big Spring.

It involved a Patterson-UTI Drilling rig, the same company that owned the rig which blew up and killed 5 workers in southeast Oklahoma in January.

The Texas fire happened in Howard County and the company issued a statement:

“This morning, a fire appears to have originated from third-party equipment and spread to one of our drilling rigs in West Texas. The local fire department extinguished the fire, all onsite personnel are accounted for and no injuries have been reported. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but we can confirm that this was not a well control incident. We remain committed to providing a safe working environment for our employees and others we work with in the field.”

Fire departments from Howard, Martin and Dawson counties responded to the fire.

The fire was at a Patterson rig, number 289, near the intersection of West County Road 52 and County Road 50.

Patterson-UTI Energy is based in Houston and owned and operated the drilling rig that blew up in January killing 5 workers. Family members have since filed suit against several defendants in the deadly incident near the small town of Quinton in Pittsburg County.

The five men who died were found in the “dog house,” a control room located near the drilling platform. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management identified them as Roger Cunningham, 55, of Seminole; Josh Ray, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas; Cody Risk, 26, of Wellington, Colo.; Matt Smith, 29, of McAlester, and Parker Waldridge, 60, of Crescent.