Oil-Covered Owls Prompt Investigation of ‘Neglected’ Oil Field Site

  • Joe Wertz

The discovery of two barn oils coated in oil has prompted an investigation of a “neglected” oil field site in northwest Oklahoma.

One of the owls died, the Enid News & Eagle reported on July 25. The surviving bird is eating, walking and climbing and is being monitored by Jean Neal, a Fairview caretaker “licensed to handle small non-migratory animals.”

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission and state Department of Wildlife Conservation are investigating a site near the Major and Garfield County lines. Inspectors found several other dead birds floating in a saltwater tank at the site, the paper reports:

A preliminary report, compiled by an Oklahoma Corporation Commission oil and gas field inspector, noted there was oil on the ground around the tank and in several other areas inside the dike. Rig anchors were not marked, and there were no Oklahoma Tax Commission numbers on the storage tanks or the meter house, the report stated.

Federal rules require saltwater tanks to be covered. The site also lacked required signage, according to the preliminary inspection report, so it’s unclear at this time who is responsible for the tanks.