Energy. Environment. Economy.

OSHA will not fine Chevron for fatal well fire in southwest Pennsylvania

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has wrapped up its investigation into the death of a worker at a Chevron natural gas well site in southwest Pennsylvania. The agency announced in a brief statement Tuesday it will not issue citations or fines for the incident.

On Feb. 11, Ian McKee, 27, was killed when a well exploded in Dunkard Township, Greene County. McKee was a contractor with Houston-based Cameron International.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recently concluded that the fire was caused by an inexperienced contract worker who did not properly tighten a bolt and locknut assembly on the wellhead, allowing methane to escape and eventually ignite. State investigators found workers on the site were improperly supervised by Chevron.

OSHA said it could not determine the exact cause of the incident.

Here’s the agency’s full statement:

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) responded immediately to investigate the workplace fatality that occurred on Feb. 11, 2014, at the Lanco well site located in Greene County, Pa., and operated by Chevron Appalachia, LLC.  At the conclusion of an in-depth, six-month investigation, OSHA determined that no citations would be issued, and concluded that the exact cause of the incident could not be determined. As is routine in such investigations, OSHA involved the victim’s family both during its probe and afterwards, to explain the agency’s findings and any actions that could be taken.

Last month, McKee’s parents filed suit against Chevron for information about their son’s death.


This story has been updated with the following correction: OSHA’s statement originally had the incorrect date of the well fire. It occurred on February 11, 2014.


  • Julieann Wozniak

    Of course not. The fix is in and our lives are quite cheap when compared to the profit to be made.

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