Halliburton is an energy company that has faced several controversies over the years. These include its operations in the Middle East during military operations, allegations of female employees being assaulted, and its role in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. Halliburton has also been involved in numerous incidents that harmed or killed workers.
Halliburton is a large, multinational energy company headquartered in Houston, Texas and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The company has operations in 70 different countries and employs 55,000 people.
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While Halliburton engages in several different types of operations in the energy industry, it primarily provides services and products for gas and oil exploration and production, including many offshore sites.
Halliburton was founded in 1919 by Erle P. Halliburton in Duncan, Oklahoma. He began with just a wagon and mules and used them to create an oil business well cementing.
- The first research facilities for the company opened in the 1930s, working on cement and ways to improve the production of oil and gas wells.
- The 1930s also saw the company’s first offshore operations at a rig in the Gulf of Mexico. It was just the beginning of what would eventually become the most extensive offshore service in the world.
- Over the following decades, Halliburton would expand to international locations, including Alberta, Canada, South America, and the Middle East.
- European operations began in 1951 with Italian and German locations.
- In 1984 the company provided all the completion equipment needed for the first offshore rig in China.
- In the 1990s, Halliburton expanded into Russia.
- In the early 2000s, the company split its operations into two divisions: Drilling and Evaluation and Completion and Production.
Offshore Exploration and Development
Halliburton works in several areas of petroleum and gas, including inland operations. Offshore exploration, drilling, and production have remained a significant part of the company’s business.
Deepwater drilling is a particular area of expertise for Halliburton and a hazardous area of offshore oil work. The company already had operations and drilling sites near many of the world’s deep regions. This helped it seamlessly move into the specialty with logistical advantages and years of experience in offshore work already in place.
The locations in which Halliburton offers deepwater support and services include more than 80 countries and remote locations like the Arctic, the Eastern Mediterranean, and East Africa. The company uses technology to reach these remote and challenging sites.
Other deepwater regions with Halliburton operations include West Africa, offshore Australia, China, India, Brazil, and the Gulf of Mexico.
The Deepwater Horizon Controversy
Deepwater drilling is challenging, and it has gotten Halliburton in trouble, most famously in the Deepwater Horizon explosion on the BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
BP claimed it was not alone in blame for the incident that caused a massive oil spill, environmental disaster, and the deaths of 11 workers.
Halliburton was responsible for the cementing on the oil well. An investigation revealed that the cementing was deficient. This was found to be a direct cause of the blowout that led to the biggest oil spill offshore in U.S. history.
Halliburton defended itself and was even found to have destroyed evidence of its negligence in the incident. Ultimately it settled with BP and paid $1.1 billion for its role in the accident.
Halliburton Safety Policies
In oil and gas production, offshore work is among the most dangerous, and deepwater drilling and exploration are even more hazardous.
Halliburton claims to be dedicated to safety and to put it ahead of all else. The company expects every employee to put safety first in everything they do.
Every meeting at Halliburton begins with a safety moment. The team discusses an element of safety protocol or procedure, like working in high-risk areas with permits in place.
Halliburton also claims to be on a path to zero incidents and uses its so-called life rules to encourage all workers to commit to the goal. The regulations include:
- Driver safety
- Work permits
- Personal protection equipment
- Safety while working at heights
- Safety around objects that could be dropped
- Handling of chemicals
- Confined spaces
- Hand tool safety
- Operating lifting and hoisting machinery
Worker Accidents, Injuries, and Fatalities
Despite this commitment to safety for all workers, Halliburton does not have a perfect record. One of the most recent incidents in 2016 led to the death of one worker and injuries to two others. It occurred at the site of an oil well.
A frozen water line under high pressure ruptured. One man died on the scene, and two others were taken to the hospital with severe injuries.
Not all maritime accidents occur in the water. In 2016 a helicopter carrying workers from a North Sea oil rig to the mainland of Norway crashed, killing thirteen people.
Four of those workers killed were from Halliburton. The helicopter was a model commonly used in offshore drilling but was known to have safety issues.
Maritime Workers’ Rights
Workers in the maritime industry, including those working offshore for companies like Halliburton, are protected by maritime law in the event of a fatal accident or an accident that causes injuries.
These laws allow workers to access workers’ compensation or to sue employers for compensation after accidents. They also give these rights to the dependents of those workers killed in such accidents. The compensation can cover medical bills, lost wages, future earnings, and just for pain and suffering endured by accident.
If you work in the maritime industry and have been hurt in an accident, know you have these rights. Speak to a maritime lawyer for expert advice before you decide what to do next.