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Two Basic Energy Workers Killed After Texas Well Blowout

Two Basic Energy Services Inc. employees were killed and two others remain hospitalized in West Texas after an April 5 blowout at an Anadarko Petroleum Corp. oil and natural gas well.

“It appears that the pressure from the well caused the explosion at the wellhead,” Alan Krenek, chief financial officer at Fort Worth, Texas-based Basic Energy, said in a phone interview today. The job involved a workover rig, which is used to go back into a well to boost production.

Basic Energy provides drilling, pumping and fluid services to help oil and gas companies like Anadarko produce from wells. The company has about 5,600 workers at wells in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico and other states, according to a Feb. 27 regulatory filing.

The Ward County Sheriff’s Office received a report of the blowout east of Barstow, Texas, about 9 a.m. local time on April 5, according to a faxed statement. University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, said two of the workers named in the statement remain patients today.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Krenek said. “Basic is doing all that’s possible for them.”

The well was shut in and the cause of the blowout is being investigated, according to the sheriff’s office.

“We are heartsick by this tragic event and are praying for the contractors and their families,” John Christiansen, a spokesman for The Woodlands, Texas-based Anadarko, said in an e-mail.

Basic Energy rose 2.3 percent to $12.29 at the close in New York. Anadarko climbed 1.8 percent to $86.55.

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