Oil Spray Covers Stillwater Neighborhood, Cleanup Underway

Wednesday, January 29th 2014, 2:31 pm
By: News 9

Below-freezing temperatures were being blamed for an oil spray just South of Stillwater Wednesday morning.

The spray was reported to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission around 7:15am but residents in the area reported hearing a loud explosion and seeing fire in the direction the well was located.

A spokesman for Calyx Energy said a "small amount" of oil was sent out of the flare tube after a control valve became frozen solid. He said the wind carried the oil into a neighborhood about a half-mile away from the site.

Michael McNamer, whose property was affected by the oil spray, said it was a hassle. He woke up early Wednesday morning and found everything on his property covered in a thin film of oil.

"It's on everything," McNamer said. "It smells terrible out here."

Almost everything on Mike McNamer's property is covered in a film of oil. From his children's toys to his cars to the trees to his house. He said he tried taking his car to the carwash Wednesday morning and said it was not coming of easily.

McNamer was also worried about his horses that graze on the property because the grass and hay were coated with oil. He was taking the horses to the vet at Oklahoma State University Wednesday afternoon to have them washed and checked out.

"I'm going to have to move them to another pasture," explained McNamer. "I've got one that's pregnant so hopefully they didn't digest any of it."

A spokesman with Calyx Energy told News 9 that the amount of oil on the ground was about the same as you would find in fertilizer. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission also says the company followed the proper steps in reporting the incident.

An environmental cleanup crew spent part of the afternoon spraying down McNamer's property and belongings that could be cleaned. A spokesman for the company said they would work with McNamer to make sure the property is cleaned up to his satisfaction.

The corporation commission told News 9 there had not been any evidence that either ground water or water supply was contaminated but they will continue to do tests to make sure none of this ended up anywhere that could cause harm.

The company spokesman also said that they were checking equipment at all other sites to make sure this doesn't happen again.