Trucker killed at Denton County well site

Hazmat crews from Conoco Phillips were working on cleaning and containing the hazardous fumes Thursday evening.

It was his first stop of the day and he was overcome with fumes while unloading condensate.

Sounds like H2S gas.  Oh, but we aren’t supposed to have any of that in the Barnett Shale despite the equipment that strips out H2S gas.

Be careful out there because your families need you. And if you need help with an unsafe situation, contact me.

Man found dead near natural gas pad site
By Megan Gray / Staff Writer
Published: 17 January 2013 10:05 PM


About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. Cathy McMullen says

    I am sad. That could have been my brother or nephew. What will it take to regulate this industry

  2. ND says

    They tell us there is no H2S in the Bakken either, in fact there is so much recently an entire train of rail cars, over 100 thousand barrels was just rejected at the refinery it was sent to. Guys working up here, even in production have started to carry meters for their protection, although ND still claims there is no H2S. It is obvious, the companies are not the least bit worried about worker safety. Bakken is pouring on the chemicals to try to clean up the H2S so they can sell the oil. Truck drivers be careful out there, watch this video – monitor pegged out over 500ppm - -What a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.

  3. dory says

    Some of these facilities have the US or company flag flying, (or even a wind sock near ground level). The purpose of the flag is not necessarily to show patriotism or corporate pride – it’s an indicator of which way the wind is blowing so when workers are loading/unloading stuff like Condensate they know where to stand to avoid breathing in the fumes.

    • says

      Thanks Dory for that insight. I had wondered why the industry proudly displays their flags on these drill sites – and to think that our cities allow drilling 600 feet from homes. This setback does not apply to condensate tanks or frac ponds. Waivers are usually obtained as they often drill 300 feet from protected uses in our densely populated areas. We have about ten gas drill sites within two miles of our home, and that scares the hell out of me. It’s no wonder so many people who live in close proximity to these sites are dying prematurely and unexpectedly.

  4. David says

    “The Tarrant County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy” I wounder if the ME has ever had an H2S case?
    “…determination of sulfide ion concentrations in blood or major organs can be useful in corroborating a diagnosis of fatal H2S toxicity, but there are many pitfalls in collecting, storing, and analyzing tissue and fluid samples.”

  5. says Remembering young Dustin Bergsing this morning….his daughter is growing up without ever knowing him…so sad….prayers out to this new shale victim’s family. Even if the autopsy shows heart failure…shale environmental stressors worsen existing health conditions….
    the sick get sicker, or
    the sicker dies quicker
    I hate it when I rhyme
    more shale deaths?
    simply a matter of time

  6. Fracking Crazy says

    H2S acute exposure is what made me sick.

    No sense of smell for 8 months.

    Sores, lesions:

    I can’t eat onion and garlic anymore, drink mineral water, have sulfates, sulfites, sulfur springs, over the counter cleaners, beauty products, and perfumes.

    But hey, I’m glad I’m alive!!

    • Fracking Crazy says

      I feel so badly that we had to lose a life over such carelessness and oversight in regulation.

      I will pray for all of those effected.

  7. Andy Mechling says

    Condensate. Can somebody please define “condensate” for me?
    If not for me; then how about for the MDs? The firefighters?
    Is this stuff heavier than air? What Im asking for are product specifications.
    Dont tell me that the specs dont exist. They do. Skip the bullshit, OK?

      • Andy Mechling says

        Sharon, thanks for the kind words.
        I did just read a very informative series of articles published by the consulting firm RBN Energy. “Fifty Shades of Condensate”
        Fascinating article. Highly reccomended. Even the investment community is having a hard time with the mysteries surrounding “condensates”.
        Available facts are few; but apparently, by some estimates, up to 100% of the “crude” product coming out of the Eagle Ford plays is in the form of “condensate”. One of the mysteries is: “where is it all going?”.

        • Andy Mechling says

          One of the known markets for condensates is Canada.
          Condensates are effective “diluents” for tar sands.
          The large volume of condensates now showing up on the market has apparently caught refiners by surprise. This stuff is typically lighter than gasoline…think dirty propane-butane-ethane mix. Valuable but….
          US refineries are all set up for heavy crudes now; not lights.
          Also, condensates aren’t ideal for making diesel…..and this is where the market is. Demand for gasoline continues to fall.

          • Andy Mechling says

            In any case; my point remains. We need more information about this substance / substances. Trucks full of it. Pipelines full of it.
            But what should we do in case of a spill or rupture? Is it explosive?
            Can we put water on that fire?? Is there H2S?
            This secrecy is bullshit. A man died today because of it.
            How many more need to die?

    • Nick says

      Condensate comes from the word condensation. It is a general term for the “mid-weight” hydrocarbons that at reservoir temperature & pressure is a gas and when produced to the surface condenses into a liquid. It’s composition is going to be very similar to the oil & gas that is also coming out of the well. Drip gas is another term for the same thing.

  8. David says

    Andy why don’t you look it up in, find the specific well,look at the chemical information and also consider anything naturally occurring. What goes down may come up, not necessarily in the same chemical formulas do to chemical reactions or in the same quantities and the proprietary unlisted chemicals you’ll have to guess.
    See how impossible it is to find what your looking for.

  9. Jana says,Barnett+Rd,+Krum,+TX+76249&gl=us&ei=WlL7UPzVBc_82gWX4ICoDw&ved=0CDEQ8gEwAA, Google map link, not sure what the soil conservation service sites are. I’ve been thinking about this sad situation, and so many good points have been brought up. The condensate question needs so much more investigation. I pulled up the map because I wanted to know what was close to this well site. How close were homes, neighborhoods, were there any schools, etc? Had this been a more populated area, the potential for more casualties or victims of H2S would have been so much greater. So many more questions and reason that this should not be in our neighborhoods and cities.

  10. Jimmie says

    So, will you post the results of the autopsy? Would like to know for sure that his death was due to the oil & gas industry. That would be evidence.

  11. Terri says

    I am needing help in trying to find a way of diagnosing the acute H2S, my husband came home back June of 2012 and he has been a very sick man, he has had every test there is and they are all negative so after him not being able to walk without falling on a daily basis, mental issues, dizziness, breathing, coughing and the list goes on he got to thinking about the H2S he was exposed to on a daily basis hauling crude oil, loading and unloading it so I started a research on it and he has all the symtoms of the accute H2S poisoning but can’t get a doctor to put that diaginosis on paper. Have been to probably 10 doctors including toxicologists out of state and we can’t find no answers. I have made numerous calls to OSHA, poison control and many more just to try to get some leads on how we can get this diaginosed but no one knows much about it or is denying the fact it is real. I would just like to find a doctor that specializes in this. Am trying to get a claim on Workmans Comp but can’t find a lawyer that will help in that matter either. I am looking for any answers, I just want to get him diagnosed so we can maybe get some medical help for him to help him live a better life.