One killed, two injured in Utah oil field fire

Reuters News
Posted: May 08, 2013 7:45 PM

By Laura Zuckerman

(Reuters) - An oil field worker was killed and two others injured in a fire near a production well in Utah owned by the Newfield Exploration Company, a company official said Wednesday.

The fire broke out in equipment near the well in Utah's Uintah County at 8:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday while two contract workers and one Newfield employee were conducting routine maintenance, the company said.

The fire at the well site, about 130 miles east of Salt Lake City, was put out by local Utah crews Tuesday night.

Keith R. Schmidt, a spokesman for Newfield, said it was unclear what had caused fire, which was under investigation by state and federal officials and the company, an independent crude oil and natural gas exploration firm based in Woodlands, Texas.

"It's a real tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those involved," he said.

Uintah County Sheriff's Corporal Brian Fletcher identified the person who died as Tyson Boren, 28, of Neola, Utah.

He said the fire occurred after an explosion, although Schmidt could not immediately confirm that.

"We can't say there was an explosion. We know there was a fire," he Schmidt, adding: "Accidents like this are rare in the industry."

Schmidt said Newfield had an "excellent safety record" in a Utah production basin where the company - that state's largest oil producer - plans 200 wells producing crude and other petrochemicals.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and David Brunnstrom)