Company Says Oil Valves Intentionally Opened, Causing OKC Neighborhood-Wide Spill
OKLAHOMA CITY - Investigators believe at least 25 barrels of crude oil spilled into a southeast Oklahoma City neighborhood.
Crews responded to an oil well near Southeast 52nd Street and South Byers Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 12.
White Operational owns the well site. Its president, Lloyd White, told News 9 he believes two separate valves were opened on purpose. White says one valve inside the fence was opened along with another outside of the fence.
Nicona Hill lives nearby the well and saw oil flowing down her street.
“I come outside, and it was all in the street,” said Hill. “It was flowing way down the street. Almost to the end of the street. They (police) had it blocked off.”
Hill said this is the second oil spill in her neighborhood.
Oklahoma City fire and hazmat crews spent nearly 12 hours cleaning up the cite, leaving around 6:45 a.m. Thursday, December 13.
Officials stress there is no danger to the public.
“We do have some hydrocarbon booms downstream from the outfall,” said Oklahoma City Environmental Protection Manager, Raymond Melton. “If we get a little bit of rain or runoff, it will catch it right there.”
White Operational told News 9 they plan to file a report with Oklahoma City Police.
Many are thankful the spill was caught when it was.
“It could have been worse, but it was caught pretty quickly,” said Melton. “When oil is going down the street and people are driving through it, it gets turned in pretty quick to 911.”
It could be several weeks before the area is completely cleaned up. Contractor’s will have to remove soil at the site.