STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – A creek behind houses in Stillwater is contaminated by oil excess after rainfall. One neighbor said it’s an issue they’ve been dealing with since 2018. News 4 went to the oil well on Monday. The smell of oil was in the air, and dried oil was all over the ground.
“We just want the right people to come out and enforce and clean up and get a better handle, get out water back and get our livestock back we’re supposed to be,” said Mike Mckeever, a neighbor in Stillwater.
Mike Mckeever says the last few years, it’s been really bad when the rain comes.
“I believe he was told to clean all this up two years ago when we when we witnessed pumping sludge,” said Mckeever.
Over time, rain washed oil into a creek, making it unsafe for Mckeever’s cattle to drink.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says they’re aware of the issue, and sent an inspector to look at the area.
“The estimate is about five barrels and it had run through a field and then eventually found its way into a creek from a well site. So there were two areas that needed really to be cleaned up,” said Matt Skinner, a spokesman for the Corporation Commission.
Skinner says the operator of the well was told to build a small wall to stop oil from flowing into the creek during rainstorms.
“Built this berm to keep the water from running into the creek and clearly as we get more and a half inch rain, all the water just runs around the bottom,” said Mckeever.
“Late last week on Friday, which was the inspectors last visit, they found that the well site still needed remedial action,” said Skinner.
Since this has been an issue for a couple years, Mckeever hopes this time, the creek and oil well will finally be cleaned up.
“We still think the oil and natural gas industry as a whole is a great thing for the state of Oklahoma, but it just takes a few people that act like this to give it a bad name,” said Mckeever.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says the operator of the oil well has 15 days to clean up the area.
If it doesn’t pass inspection, the Commission will re-evaluate what needs to be done.