| HARRISBURG, Pa.
HARRISBURG, Pa. Aug 6 An explosion at a Chevron
Corp gas well in southwestern Pennsylvania that killed a
man in February was caused by an inexperienced contract worker
who was improperly supervised, according to a state report
released on Wednesday.
Ian R. McKee, a 27-year-old native of Warren, Pennsylvania,
was incinerated in the blast when he went to investigate the
hissing sound of gas escaping at high pressure from the Lanco 7H
well in Greene County, where he worked. The well burned for four
days after the explosion.
The report by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
Protection blamed the Feb. 11, 2014, disaster on errors by an
inexperienced worker - not McKee - and the supervisor who failed
to make sure a lock pin was tightened properly.
"We are reviewing the DEP reports," said Kent S. Robertson,
a spokesman for Chevron in San Ramon, California. "We look
forward to continuing to work with DEP and OSHA in order to
fully understand what happened. We are determined to prevent it
from happening again."
Neither the contract worker nor the supervisor are
identified by name in the report. Both worked for Cameron
International Corp., a Houston-based company that
provides services related to bringing oil and gas wells into
production and keeping them flowing properly.
McKee also worked for Cameron, which did not immediately
respond to a request for comment.
The report said Chevron's supervision of contractors at the
well was spotty. A heavy workload and distractions for the
company's well site managers may have contributed to safety
procedures breaking down, allowing an inexperienced and
unqualified "greenhat" worker to carry out a critical task.
"The 'greenhat' was not supervised closely as he manipulated
the lock pins," the DEP report said. " had not been trained
on this procedure, or any other well procedure."
Chevron's well site manager that day "spent most of his time
in the trailer attending to paperwork or other matters," the
McKee, who lived in West Virginia at the time, was expecting
a child with his girlfriend. His family has filed a lawsuit
(Reporting By Frank McGurty; editing by Andrew Hay)