Downey Drilling still open and operating, assessing damages

Downey Drilling still open and operating, assessing damages
RRN/ Interior of shop area in Downey Drilling headquarters in Lexington sustained heavy smoke and heart damage. (Paul Pack/ KRVN Radio)
November 23rd, 2021 | KRVN News

    A Friday evening fire at Downey Drilling on the eastern edge of Lexington resulted in damage to a drilling rig along with smoke and heat damage to the rest of the shop area.   Despite that, President and CEO Tom Downey says operations were running as normal on Monday.

Contractors and other vendors were on site Monday assessing the damages and developing a plan for repairs or replacement in the shop area. 

Downey says the shop area sustained “horrible smoke and heat” damage.  He says it was divided into two areas that they call the “east half” and the “west half”.

The fire was electrical in nature and appears to have started in the engine compartment of a relatively new well drilling rig.

The cab of the drilling rig was destroyed but Downey was optimistic the drilling rig itself could be repaired and cleaned up.    

The office area sustained some smoke but, otherwise all operations and work sites in Nebraska and surrounding state are all operating as normal.     

    Downey is optimistic for the future.

While operations are running as normal, some of their shop systems won’t be as handy for a while.  They hope to secure a building to temporarily house their equipment and shop operations.  

Downey commended the work of the Lexington and Overton fire departments.  He also expressed his appreciation for all of the other help that night and the people who have reached out to them in support.

Downey said the fire department was familiar with the building and commended their knowledge on how to approach certain hazardous areas 

The facility was built four years ago.   Downey said fire walls and city building codes seemed excessive at the time but was pleased with how it contained the fire.  

RRN/ The drilling rig that was the apparent origin of the Downey Drilling fire was parked next to a racing trailer used for motorsports. Downey believes it may have shielded the fire from spreading to the office area.
RRN/ A couple of well drilling equipment will require some cleaning before being put back into service. (Paul Pack/ KRVN Radio)
RRN/ A crew was erecting a temporary wall Monday where a shop door was damaged and removed during Friday’s fire.
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