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Number of Rigs Exploring for Oil and Gas in U.S. Increases

Baker Hughes Inc., the Houston- based oilfield services company, reported the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 12 this week to 1,754.

Of the more than 1,700 rigs, 1,383 were exploring for oil and 365 for gas. A year ago, there were 1,806 rigs. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

This report was issued the same week the company suspended operations in Iraq following a weekend protest.

The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas increasing also brings an increase in injuries and fatalities. Every year hundreds of workers are injured; some are able to navigate the system and receive proper compensation and medical care while many are not.

Admiralty law is designed with provisions to take care of an injured seaman. Maintenance and cure is the doctrine of paying an injured seaman’s medical care while also ensuring long-term health while providing financial payment while he is unable to work. Vessel owners are required to provide maintenance and cure; injured seamen have legal recourse if this does not happen.  When a maritime employer’s negligence results in an injury, a seaman may also maintain a lawsuit under the Jones Act.  The Jones Act protects maritime families by providing an avenue for recovery of future medical expenses, lost wage earning capacity, and all of the emotional and family harms that result from an offshore injury.

For more information about the rights injured offshore workers have regarding unpaid medical costs, please click here.

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