U.S. probing worker's death at Devon-Nabors oil rig in N. Dakota

Jan 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said on Monday it is investigating the death of a Badger Consulting worker last week at an oil rig in North Dakota owned by Devon Energy (DVN.N) and Nabors (NBR.N).

Preliminary information indicates the worker "was likely walking on top of a mud tank and fell through a hole" where he was later found deceased late last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor said in a statement.

OSHA, a unit of the Labor Department, opened a joint employer inspection with Devon, Nabors and Badger Consulting on Friday last week.

Local media, which first reported the fatal incident on Friday, said other workers drained the pit and tried to rescue the deceased but he died at the scene.

The worker was a consultant contracted through Badger by Devon, which owns and operates the Nabors Industries' (NBR.N) oil rig north of New Town in the western North Dakota oil patch, the statement said.

"OSHA has six months to complete its investigation, issue citations and propose monetary penalties to any of the three companies if violations of worker safety and health rules are found during the investigative process," said Rhonda Burke, a Labor Department deputy director of public affairs.

Devon Energy resumed operations at the rig on Monday morning, spokesperson Lisa Adams told Reuters, while Nabors said that "we are supporting Devon to understand what occurred and what lessons can be learned from this tragic incident."

Devon had earlier "shut down drilling operations while we work with local law enforcement, OSHA and Nabors," Adams told media last week.

Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Josie Kao and David Gregorio

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