Image courtesy of United States Marine Corps/ Wikimedia Commons.

Federal authorities won’t issue any citations against Chevron for a well fire that killed one worker and injured twenty others last February in Pennsylvania.

The US Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) said that its investigation of the fire “concluded that the exact cause of the incident could not be determined.”

“At the conclusion of an in-depth, six-month investigation, OSHA determined that no citations would be issued,” it said.

The fire broke out on February 11 when the Lanco 7H well exploded at the Dunkard, Pennsylvania shale gas site.

Two other gas wells caught fire after the blast.

The wells burned for five days.

Ian McKee, 27, from Morgantown, West Virginia was killed during the accident.

McKee was a field service technician for Houston-based Cameron International.

In April, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued nine citations to Chevron for the fire.

The DEP cited the company for failure to operate a well properly and failure to prevent venting of gas, and a violation for a discharge of well production fluids onto the ground.

A DEP report said that a loosened lock screw assembly allowed gas to leak and caused the explosion.

The department said that Chevron allowed an untrained contractor to work on the well without proper supervision or approval.

The wells were in the final phase of construction before production when the accident happened.

Last week, Chevron said it was reviewing the DEP’s report.

“Chevron is committed to safe operations. We look forward to continuing to work with the Pennsylvania DEP and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration in order to fully understand what happened with this incident, and we are determined to prevent it from happening again,” the company said.

McKee’s family filed a negligence lawsuit against Chevron in June.


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