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Oilfield Contamination

oilfield contamination

In Louisiana, oil has been causing damage for many years due to poor maintenance and negligent corporations. If your property has been contaminated by oil operations or a pipeline carrying petroleum or natural gases, our lawyers can help you get justice.

Claims filed by property owners or individuals suffering the consequences of polluted groundwater could mean the recovery of significant damages through the litigation process.

Is your property damaged from oil drilling that was not remediated? Is your groundwater contaminated? If so, you may wish to file a case for polluting otherwise healthy soil, leaving property owners to deal with the corrupt land left behind.

Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) can linger in the soil for decades after oil and gas operations have ended.

The following can contribute to contaminated groundwater and environmental damages, like de-vegetation and staining:

  • "Fracking" for natural gases
  • Oil or gas spills
  • Reuse of equipment
  • Tank or line leaks

These activities produce sludge, wastewater and scale, which can all contribute to the contamination of source water and further damage a property owner's land.

Contact us. Your first consultation is 100 percent FREE, and we're here to help you TODAY.

Health Hazards And Conditions

Waste associated with oil fields may cause harmful side effects to an individual's health.

In fact, aside from polluting local water tables and supplies, the toxic fumes that are often emitted by leaking pipes and valves can result in serious breathing difficulties for many individuals.

Potential side effects from exposure to radioactive materials and other oil field chemicals may include:

  • Difficulty in breathing and/or shortness of breath
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Skin conditions like rashes and burns
  • Vision impairment

Those experiencing any of these symptoms who believe they have been exposed to oil field contaminants should seek medical assistance immediately and contact an attorney to discuss whether there is a valid injury claim.

Top Oil-Producing Well Parishes In Louisiana

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. has more than 30,000 oil fields.

With its abundance of petroleum below Louisiana's soil, it is estimated that an astonishing one in every six employees statewide is connected to the oil field industry.

The top oil-producing well parishes in Louisiana and their level of production are as follows:

  • Bienville (High)
  • Bossier (High)
  • DeSoto (High)
  • Jackson (High)
  • LaFourche (High)
  • Plaquemines (High)
  • Terrebonne (High)
  • Caddo (Medium)
  • Calcasieu (Medium)
  • Cameron (Medium)
  • Claiborne (Medium)
  • Iberia (Medium)
  • Jefferson Davis (Medium)
  • Lincoln (Medium)
  • Pointe-Coupee (Medium)
  • Saint Mary (Medium)
  • Vermilion (Medium)
  • Webster (Medium

In the state of Louisiana, there were over 8,200 wells identified as orphaned since 1993, according to the Oil field Site Restoration (OSR) program run by the Louisiana Office of Conservation. Since 1993, the OSR has closed a total of 2,453 wells, 596 production and reserve pits, and 295 facilities at a cost of $65 million.

In addition, 3,000 wells were removed from the orphan list after private operators took them over.

Oil Field Contamination Lawsuit

The "IOWA PRODUCTION, Shell Oil Company et al" case, addressed the oil field contamination cleanup claims of the owners of 10 acres of rural land in Acadia Parish, Louisiana. This property was the subject of a surface lease obtained by Shell Oil Company in 1955 and allowed the company to use the property exclusively for any and all purposes.

Included in the lease was the requirement that Shell Oil Company has to restore the land to as near to its former condition as possible upon termination of the lease. When the lease expired on Feb. 24, 2005, the oil company failed to live up to its end of the agreement or warn new land owners of its damage, contamination and wastes left behind. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of these landowners.

Ultimately The Supreme Court of Louisiana held that:

The evidence was sufficient to support an award of $33 million for failure to restore land to original condition, even though the land was only worth $108,000 in its restored condition...

Additionally...

  • The damages awarded were not limited to the land's market value but rather could be based on the amount necessary to restore the land to original condition as specified by lease;
  • Injury to water aquifer was not speculative;
  • The land owners would recover the entire $33 million award even though $28 million of the award was for potential aquifer contamination and land owners had no duty to restore premises to prevent aquifer contamination;
  • The evidence was sufficient to support the finding that subsequent lease holders caused no damage to land and were therefore not partially liable for award;
  • The landowner's cause of action arose upon termination of the surface lease rather that at the time of the actual injury or contamination;
  • Prejudgment interest on the additional amounts due for the trespass resulting from the unauthorized saltwater disposal was the proper method to calculate the value of those damages; and
  • Attorney's fee award of $4 million was reasonable.

Louisiana environmental and oil contamination lawyers at Simien & Simien, LLC, have represented land owners against big oil companies, and are prepared to help you today.

Your first consultation is 100 percent FREE, and we're here to help you TODAY. Dial 800-374-8422 for help.

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