Drilling activity upsets many Tri-City residents

By Clarence B. Wright
Publisher

Lately,  the landscape of Newcastle has experienced a change in scenery. Over the past several months, the addition of many drilling wells is responsible for that change.
Depending on who you ask, the recent influx of drilling sites in Newcastle has certainly brought about a divide in opinion over the matter.
On one end, there is what the presence of big oil companies can bring to the city -an increase in tax revenue, compensation for mineral rights and other incentives that the city will potentially see.
On the other hand, several residents of Newcastle say their new neighbors have worn out their welcome. Along with the new pumps come more issues to deal with. The presence of these sites have brought about concerns with damaged roads, noise pollution, and traffic.
According to City Council member Mike Fullerton, the drilling usually takes about 30 days to complete. Then, for 14-plus more days, fracking may take place. This is followed  by a heavy flow of oil and water for 60 or so days. This creates the need for 40-60 large tanker trucks per day traveling through city limits.
“The oil and waste water will then decline somewhat to about 20-30 trucks per day for about the first year and will slowly decrease for the next 8-10 years, or until the oil plays out,” Fullerton said.
“When I say per day, I mean 24 hours a day – seven days a week,” Fullerton added.

Many residents have expressed their grievances at monthly city council meetings as well as other platforms, such as social media.
Tri-City Citizens for Safe Water and McClain County Residents against BP are pages that have been created on Facebook. Although they were created for two reasons, they have the same goal in common – to hinder the search for oil by these large companies.
Tri-City Citizens for Safe Water was created after learning of the plans of Overflow Energy to drill a disposal well through the aquifer that supplies water to all the residents of Tuttle, Bridge Creek and Newcastle.
According to their statement, leaks from disposal wells are rare but do happen and  would be catastrophic to the neighborhood since there is no “plan B” if said aquifer is damaged. They would then be forced to purchase water from Oklahoma City or sell their properties and move. In addition, over 100 trucks per day will be hauling this water from production wells in the area and the resulting traffic on Highway 4 will be a hazard to the 1600 school children only a mile south of the proposed well. This group was formed to contest the proposed well. Recently formed Limited Liability Company, (LLC), Tri-City Citizens For Safe Environment was initiated for the purpose of filing a lawsuit in District Court against Overflow.
The basis of their lawsuit is that the potential well and heavy truck traffic will be a nuisance to those that live there. This lawsuit is the second of a two pronged approach to convince the company to re-locate the well to a more remote location. Their attorney would like to demonstrate to the judge hearing their case that their LLC is made up of real people – all of them opposed to this well.
According to the “McClain County Residents Against BP” page, it was created  to serve as a community of anyone who feels like big oil has too much power. The page administrator posted that BP has built a pad for a rig 55 steps from his front door, endangering his family. He feels that big oil has absolutely no compassion for the home owner and do not take children or monetary items into account.
More information on both pages can be found on Facebook.
These are just a few examples of how residents are frustrated by the growth of oil well construction. City council member Joe Covey stated that he felt “bullied” by the oil reps at Monday’s meeting.
Whether one agrees or disagrees, it appears that the drilling is here to stay. The Newcastle city council has already approved the construction of five sites and two more were approved, pending completion of additional agreements set forth by the city.
According to city planner Ryan Conner,  Blanchard has 40 – plus active wells that encompass the city, both in and out of city limits.
As of press time the City of Tuttle had not responded to questions asked by the Pacer.
Fullerton said he has no problems enforcing restrictions established by the city.
“City Council has directed city staff to follow the council’s agreements with the oil companies and present ordnances that have been set in place to protect the welfare of the families of Newcastle. Newcastle has a city inspector and newly hired code enforcement officer to investigate and determine infractions that might occur within the city. With any city code infraction the city must have help in locating the issue before action can be used. I ask Newcastle residents if you experience safety issues or feel code infractions have been broken please contact Newcastle City Hall (405) 387-4427 or contact anyone of your Newcastle City Council members,” Fullerton said.

 

 

7 Comments

  1. Shauna Edmonds on July 18, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    The semi trucks are destroying the roads and the patch jobs don’t make them any better, the semis drive down the center of the roads at higher than posted speeds, they do not move over to allow you to go past then in you lane of travel without almost hitting mailboxes, the cross bridges that were not intended to hold the weight of the semis load, the run stop signs often, the constant smell is nauseating and is a trigger for my migraines, the noise is so loud I have to at times keep my small children inside for fear of harming their. Ears , and well water contamination is a very real concern I could go in and in

    • Paul cullen on July 19, 2018 at 5:18 am

      These wells need to be away from people’s homes over on west fox ln some people just built a beautiful new home and just finishing it right across the street a well . They did however take the noise into consideration and were kind enough to put up this big ugly wall to muffle the sound ! Now they only have this thing to look at as they look out their windows of theier brand new home !! Move them out away from the population

  2. Tracye Johnson on July 18, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    A little annoyance is a huge trade-off for keeping hard-working men and women in jobs that provide for their families! I wouldn’t change living in an oil patch for anything. I’ve been around it all my life and I’ve had many opportunities to leave Oklahoma if I didn’t like it.

    • Emily Luther on July 18, 2018 at 5:28 pm

      WATER is life!!! Is your drinking water being contaminated? Bridge Creek is not a city, and residents have WELLS. There is NO other access to water. Contaminate our water and our homes and property become worthless and unlivable. Let’s tell people that they should just leave, if they don’t like it. That’s completely reasonable. 🙄😒🤔

    • Matt Garcia on July 19, 2018 at 5:56 pm

      You are in the minority sir. We shouldn’t have to give up our quality of life and see our biggest investment value be decimated so you can have a job. Most of the license plates at the wellsites are from out of state anyway. Why dont you buy my home and property so you can live across the street from a flare stack, compressor, and bright lights.

  3. Matt Garcia on July 19, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Jones Energy put a rig up 300 feet from my home off Sandrock. They ran it 24/7 and it was horrific. The smells, the noise, and the light pollution was awful. But that was just the beginning. When they began fracking at 2am, the sound level on my front porch was over 100 db. After it was all said and done they left a flare stack that smells awful and light the place up, a security light pointed at my home, and a loud compressor running 24/7. I have complained to the OCC and DEQ. After I sent pictures to the DEQ of the flare spewing black nauseating smoke, they sent me a letter and basically called me a liar. The truck traffic has absolutely destroyed the roads and runs 24/7. Now they want to put an injection well to dispose of millions of gallons of toxic chemicals down the road. Our politicians are absolute scum bags for allowing this. I’m certain they dont have these issues in their gates communities not would they tolerate it.

  4. Kay and Herman Endsley on July 21, 2018 at 9:36 am

    We live right across the road from where the proposed site for the disposable well is to be . The traciff is already really bad.just a. few weeks ago I was trying to turn in to my driveway from the south I was stopped and a pickup was stopped behind me then 3 cars came over the hill and rammed into the pickup behind me and a couple of weeks. later two semi trucks were involved in wreck just a short distance down from me with a young man being killed so just think what it will be like with a 100 trucks coming by there every day . Not only the noise ,the smell ,and everything else that goes along with this . The well needs to be put way down where there are no houses close by . I am 81 years and the pictures they took did not show our house right across from this site our mailbox is on the east side of road and it is-it already bad to cross the road to get our mail

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