Pistol Drilling rig collapses in Texas

Collapsed: rig crumples at drill site in Wheeler County, TX

A rig owned by privately held Pistol Drilling collapsed on itself while making a connection this week at a drilling site in Wheeler County, Texas.

Pictures posted on Drilling Ahead, an online forum, on Monday showed a crumpled rig at a drilling site just over the Texas border, a few miles from Texola, Oklahoma.

There were no major injuries reported in the accident – “a miracle”, according to one Pistol Drilling employee. One worker at the site reported a minor shoulder injury.

The Pistol Rig #4 was drilling for Tulsa-based Sanguine Gas Exploration at the time of the accident. It was unclear exactly what was happening at the drill site when the rig collapsed, reportedly sometime on Sunday.

One source with knowledge of the incident said the rig had “pulled too much weight” as it was lifting pipe from a “tight hole”.

The source said the rig had almost finished drilling and was making a connection when rig-operators “overloaded the derrick and it collapsed on itself”.

Such accidents are not common, the source said, but are “usually” a result of “driller error”.

The source said there could have possibly been something wrong with the derrick such as a “stress crack”, but added that this seemed unlikely.

Woodward, Oklahoma-based Pistol’s president Tommy Weder did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Sanguine Gas Exploration confirmed the rig was drilling for it at the time of the accident but could not immediately comment further.

To view the specifications of Rig #4, click here.

Click here to see more pictures of the collapsed rig on Drilling Ahead.

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