BLANCHARD, Okla. (KFOR) – A Blanchard family said they are fed up Tuesday after dealing with near constant vibrations in their home as a drilling rig sits 1,200 feet from it.
“It’s been tough,” said Richard Starks. “It’s just more than a minor annoyance.”
According to Starks, the rig has been around for about two and a half weeks just south of the town of Blanchard. He said it vibrates nearly all the time, trembling their home, and it’s become too much.
“It’s been a little rough,” he said.
Starks recorded a video that can be seen below of a water bottle vibrating on a nightstand in he and his wife’s room.
The whole house vibrates to an extent. According to Starks, it’s too much to stand, especially in rooms where they sleep at times. He said he and his family have been forced to sleep in the living room.
“They slept on the mattress in the floor in our living room, and then me and my wife both slept on either side of the couch,” he said.
Starks uses a seismograph to record the rumblings in his home. The chart you see below is the result. One is a PDF, the other, the real printed recording. The spot highlighted yellow is when the water bottle was vibrating.
“They’re operating in compliance, so there was no law broken there,” Starks said.
The rig is owned by EOG resources. Their full statement on the situation can be read below:
“The people and communities where we operate are important to us, so in addition to complying with state and local ordinances and regulations, we seek to be transparent about our operations and identify opportunities to minimize any impact we might have.”CREIGHTON WELCH, EOG RESOURCES COMMUNICATIONS AND GOVERNMENT RELATIONS MANAGER
Starks said he has no issues with the oil industry at all.
“My family’s been supported by the oil industry,” he said. “I in no way shape or form intend this to be a hit piece on the oil field.”
However, he said he wants something to be done so he and his family can live in tranquility with no more trembling.
“They have the right to get the oil, I want the oil to come from Oklahoma, it’s great for the economy, it’s great for Oklahoma,” Starks said. “At the same point we have some rights to be able to sleep in our house and then we have to find that balance.”
According to Starks, their home hasn’t suffered any damage. He is an architect and he said in theory the vibrations could cause damage of soil that isn’t compacted properly.
“We haven’t had any issues with the house settling,” Starks said. “I’ve way over built everything because of what I do.”
Starks said he had the corporation commission and sheriff’s deputies come check out the property to see if there’s any way they can stop the vibrations. He said they are unable to do anything. EOG is operating with a legal permit and within the law regarding noise.
EOG said the drilling site is “temporary” and they plan for it to be around for about one more week.