State and police investigating accident that led to North Slope worker’s death

The North Slope Borough police department has released the name of the oil field worker who was killed in an accident last week.

As first reported by the Anchorage Daily News, according to the North Slope Borough chief of police Jeffrey Brown, Shawn Huber died at the Milne Point facility on Friday, December 7. Huber was 36.

In an email, Alaska Department of Labor spokesperson Claire Pywell said Huber “was struck by a drilling pipe and died as a result of his injuries.”

Milne Point is operated by the oil company Hilcorp. Huber was employed by Kuukpik Drilling, a contractor for Hilcorp.

According to Kuukpik Drilling, Huber had worked for the contractor since July 2016.

Both the state and the North Slope Borough Police Department are investigating the accident. Pywell said it could be one to six months before the state’s findings are released.

Hilcorp suspended drilling operations at the location of the incident. In separate statements, Hilcorp and Kuukpik Drilling said they were cooperating fully with authorities to determine the cause of the accident.

“Our deepest regrets and condolences go to the employee’s family, as well as the tight-knit group of co-workers on the North Slope,” Kuukpik Drilling general manager Kenny Overvold said in an email.

GoFundMe account set up for Huber’s family has raised over $100,000.

Milne Point is also where three contractors nearly died in 2015, according to an investigation by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Elizabeth Harball is a reporter with Alaska's Energy Desk, covering Alaska’s oil and gas industry and environmental policy. She is a contributor to the Energy Desk’s Midnight Oil podcast series. Before moving to Alaska in 2016, Harball worked at E&E News in Washington, D.C., where she covered federal and state climate change policy. Originally from Kalispell, Montana, Harball is a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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