Stillwater News Press

Local News

January 29, 2014

Misty oil leak in Stillwater not a threat

STILLWATER, Okla. — A black mist invaded a community near East 44th Avenue and South Henderson Street early Wednesday morning. Oil covered the community and left some residents none the wiser. Lee Porter, a retired Stillwater resident, said he only noticed an odd smell.

“There was a smell, but I didn’t go outside last night,” Porter said. “There are a lot of smells around here.”

Porter said the smell was stronger than he is used to, but didn’t think much of it. Neighbors alerted Porter of an incident late Wednesday morning. Porter immediately went outside to observe and got his shoes covered in oil.

“I came outside, and when I went back in, I almost busted my butt because I stepped on a linoleum floor,” Porter said.

Stan Longan of the Corporation Commission said the oil covered everything overnight.

“There is a fine mist of oil on everything — it’s on the houses and the grass,” Longan said. “One gentleman’s kids’ toys has a mist of oil on it.”

Longan said the incident happened because an underground valve froze during the night.

“When a gas generator gets so full of oil and gas, it dumps the oil over in the oil tank,” Longan said. “Well, that valve froze, and it didn’t dump it in the oil tank. It went down the line and came out the flare tube.”

The oil company called a clean-up crew to wash away the oil.

“Enviro Clean will power wash and use Dawn liquid soap or whatever it takes to get it clean,” Longan said. “That’s why the oil company called these guys in. They’re professionals — it’s what they do for a living.”

Longan said the incident is an unfortunate accident.

“No one knows if it will ever happen again,” Longan said. “It may happen again tomorrow.”

Longan said the oil doesn’t present any threat to the community. He said the oil just needs to be cleaned.

“The oil isn’t going to hurt anything,” Longan said “ People don’t realize it, but a mist of oil on your grass is a good fertilizer.”

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