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Ruptured oil rig in Lavaca County capped, fire extinguished

By Bianca Montes
Sept. 3, 2013 at 4:03 a.m.
Updated Sept. 4, 2013 at 4:04 a.m.


The ruptured oil rig that burned for several days near Yoakum is sealed.

The Nabors Industries oil rig, operated by Enron Oil and Gas, exploded last week after oil rig workers were drilling horizontally into the Eagle Ford Shale.

"(The well) has been safely secured, and the fire is out," K. Leonard, a spokeswoman with EOG Resources Inc., wrote in an email Tuesday.

At least two homes within a quarter-mile of the oil rig located on County Road 338 were evacuated during the fire. Information on whether those homes were now occupied was not available Tuesday.

The explosion will be investigated by the Railroad Commission of Texas and by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Representatives from both departments said it is hard to estimate how long the investigation will take, but by law, OSHA has six months to complete an investigation.

"If OSHA finds violations of the OSHA standard, then OSHA can issue citations that accompany a monetary penalty," said spokeswoman Diana Petterson.

OSHA has cited Nabors Drilling USA, the owners of the drill site, with numerous violations for exposing workers to safety and health hazards at two oil rig drilling sites in Texas, according to a May 2012 OSHA news release.

Violations include failure to follow manufacturer's safety requirements and failure to ensure the proper use of electrical equipment.

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