Allen resident cries 'foul' over spilled oil

Monday, May 5th 2008, 9:38 pm
By: News 9

By Amanda Taylor, NEWS 9

Oklahoma is home to thousands of oil wells scattered across the state. But when oil wells spill on private property and the oil company doesn't have the insurance to cover it, some homeowners say they are left with an environmental disaster.

Joyce Shulte, an Allen resident, said more than 400 gallons of crude oil and 200 barrels of saltwater were spilled on her property. The mixture seeped into the ground and contaminated a nearby creek, she said.

After Shulte hired an independent expert, she said she discovered the spill caused $28,000 worth of damage. When she went to the oil company, KLO, to collect money for the destruction, she said they turned her away and told her they had no insurance.

"It's kind of rough, knowing they can come onto your property and do what they want to," Shulte said. "I know they have the underground rights, but the top ground rights are ours."

Matt Skinner, the spokesman for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission said their main concern is soil contamination.

According to Skinner, oil companies are required to have a $25,000 surety bond with the state of Oklahoma, and specific cleanup protocol must be followed.

KLO is set to go before the commission later this month.