Blizzard Leads To Oil Spill Near Canadian River

Friday, February 4th 2011, 12:38 pm
By: News 9

Gan Matthews, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- This week's blizzard contributed to an oil spill in southwest Oklahoma City, and a property owner isn't happy about it.

"I've got livestock on my property. How they gonna get it cleaned up?" said Toby Bogart. "I've got two wells, my living water and my livestock water, and all my trees are covered in oil. My ground has just been totally submerged in oil."

GLB Exploration of Oklahoma City has been drilling a test well on Bogart's property. A company spokesman said this week a line that carries the oil into a tank apparently froze. Oil continued to flow from the well, building up pressure until a relief valve opened and sprayed oil onto the ground.

Strong north winds then blew the oil into the trees. Ordinarily a pumper would check on the well and drain off oil from the tank every day, but for two days the pumper couldn't get to the well because of ice and snow. GLB has begun cleanup efforts.

"We've got professionals here to clean it up," said GLB spokesman Bill Smith. "We've called the construction company to pick up all the snow that they could, the contaminated snow."

Once the temperature gets above freezing, another company will spray the trees with a chemical that will dissolve the oil. Smith said because the oil was a thin condensate it will cause no permanent damage to the ground and trees. He also said the oil did not reach the Canadian River located about 75 yards to the south.