Updated September 15

Williams Opal Plant Resuming Service; Investigation Continues into Death of Employee

Yesterday morning, during routine maintenance at the Williams Opal natural gas processing plant in southwest Wyoming, an operations technician sustained a fatal injury at the facility. The exact cause of his death and the circumstances surrounding the injury are still being investigated.

Michael Smuin, 36, of Kemmerer, Wyo., was an operations technician at the Opal plant. He had been with the company eight years.

Mike will be greatly missed by his friends and colleagues at the Opal plant and across Williams. The company grieves his loss and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived onsite yesterday to begin its formal investigation. Williams has assembled its own investigation team composed of experts from across the company who currently are at the facility.

“We have confirmed the integrity of the facility, and with OSHA’s approval, have begun the methodical process of bringing the plant back online,” says Walt Bennett, Williams’ senior vice president and leader of the West operating area who is onsite at the Opal plant.

Williams appreciates the prompt response by local and county emergency responders and for their assistance yesterday morning.


Updated September 14

Investigation Underway into Employee Death at Williams Opal Natural Gas Processing Plant; Facility Offline

Early morning Sept. 14, the Williams Opal natural gas processing plant in Lincoln County Wyoming reported the death of an employee at its Opal, Wyoming complex.

The cause of the death is under investigation and the appropriate regulatory agencies have been notified. There was no explosion nor fire at the plant and there is no threat to the surrounding area.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and want to express our deepest condolences to his family,” said Dan Kalan, senior operations manager with Williams.

The plant is offline at this time and the site where the death occurred has been secured. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been notified.

Our top priority right now is to keep the site secure and conduct a thorough investigation, working in coordination with the proper authorities. Counselors have been contacted to be available for Williams employees at the Opal plant.