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Well Safety

Safety also a concern in oil and gas industry

August 9, 2013

West Virginians have long been aware of the dangers of coal mining. Much of what miners and their companies are required to do is focused on safety....

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Aug-09-13 7:25 AM

Part of the problem may be that WV doesn't have enough well inspectors. They're needed to protect the rest of us, as well as the workers.

The reason WV can't fill all inspector slots w/ fully qualified people, is that the booming industry is hiring those people at high salaries. We as taxpayers don't like to raise salaries for State employees, but in some cases it's necessary.

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Aug-09-13 8:17 AM

If you go to the WV Dision of Personel web sit and look at the requirements for inspectors Neo, you will find that 2 years industry experience is required. The question I have is why the requirements are so stringent when other state inspector positions allow individuals who test high enough to combine education with on the job training to fill positions.

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Aug-09-13 9:12 AM

Good point, Aaron. Some practical experience is necessary, 2 years is desirable but perhaps 1 year wouuld suffice.

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Aug-09-13 12:55 PM

As James Bond lamented, "Governments change but the lie remains the same." So it goes for the government controlled regulators in West Virginia. The well drillers will pay off our politicians just as the coal companies have done for a hundred years. Safety in the coal mines was always bartered off by the government regulators to the highest bidders resulting in the deaths of thousands of West Virginia Coal miners (including black lung). And the well drillers will only take up where the coal barons left off. Life is so cheap in West Virginia only so that Wall Street can live so high on the hog.

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Aug-09-13 1:01 PM

Hard to refute Suttle. Why are miners still getting black lung, when we know what causes it?

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Aug-09-13 7:37 PM

Seems to me Suttle is one of those that's been touting gas as a replacement for coal yet given the opportunity, he'll attack gas with the same tenacity he does coal. Anyone who doesn't believe that isn't the case with the vast majority of liberals needs to take a look at a statue I got for sale. It comes with its own island. I swear, it's a heck of a deal.

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Aug-09-13 9:38 PM

Most of the old-timers that worked the oil/gas fields have retired or died. A whole group of new field workers must be trained and put to work. This is one reason so many out-of-state license plates are seen around the new drilling. It's a new ballgame with the advances in drilling rig operation. Unskilled workers are risking everything on the chance of making a decent wage. On the job training is hard at best and death at worst. Our technical schools are behind the curve on training these new workers, but they are trying to catch up. Some of that government training money for displaced workers would be "well" spent.

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Aug-10-13 10:05 AM

Our technical schools are behind the curve because most don't have qualified instructors.

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Aug-10-13 12:47 PM

Maybe our technical schools need to pay more to qualified instructors.

Why is everything connected to shale gas so expensive (except the gas itself)? Whenever something brings a lot of money into an area, the prices of a lot of things go up. Would we be better off w/o shale drilling, fewer heavy trucks breaking down roads, fewer inspectors, truck drivers, instructors getting merely reasonable pay? We should be better off w/ shale gas drilling; but we have to figure out how to make it pay the costs.

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