The oil fields of Montana's Bakken Shale have led to many new jobs for the region. But critics of the oil and gas industry say that a culture of maximizing production and minimizing costs has led to unnecessary oil field accidents. The recent death of a 23-year-old roughneck from a crush injury illustrates the problem.
Oil field equipment can be very unforgiving. This fact was borne out recently when yet another life was claimed in an oil field accident. A 22-year-old Kalispell, Montana man died after sustaining injuries to his chest and abdomen on a rig north of Watford City, North Dakota.
The extraction of oil from the Bakken Formation, which runs under Montana and North Dakota, has brought an economic boom to those regions. But the boom has come with a price, as injured workers and the families of workers killed on the job can attest. The recent death of a 49-year-old Minnesota man in an oil field accident in North Dakota provides more evidence of the hazardous nature of oil field work.
Our nation's oil fields, in Montana and elsewhere, are responsible for a lot of well-paying jobs. But those jobs come at a price. Oil fields can be dangerous places, and those who work in them face a risk of injury, or even death, not found in many other occupations. Recently a 49-year-old man from Carlsbad, New Mexico became the latest worker to die in an oil field accident in that state.