Up to 20,000 gallons of acid spilled out of a storage tank at a site of an oil well drilled by Oklahoma City, OK-based Blake Production Co.
Between 350 and 500 barrels — up to 20,000 gallons — of hydrochloric acid spilled last Monday in what Matt Skinner, spokesman for Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), said may be the biggest fracking-related acid spill to date in the state.
OCC is overseeing cleanup operations at the site near Hennessey, OK, Skinner said.
Blake Production owner Blake Vernon said workers arrived on site Monday and found a tank had emptied out the acid used in fracking jobs.
“It’s not as bad as it sounds,” Vernon said. “When we found out it had leaked, we immediately spread soda ash on it. It’s a chemical that counteracts the acid.”
The drilling company notified OCC and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Vernon said.
Enid, OK-based Trinity Services and Consulting will help with the environmental cleanup, Vernon said.
“Trinity Services & Consulting has been contracted by Blake Production to handle the environmental corrective action related to the HCL acid release,” management of Trinity Services and Consulting said in an email. “We are working with Blake Production to develop a scope of work, we are currently deploying equipment, finalizing a site-specific safety plan and communicating with OCC representatives to coordinate efforts. Any further questions or comments should be directed to Blake Vernon, spokesman for Blake Production Co.”
Workers set up berms Tuesday to make sure rain did not carry any acid into nearby Turkey Creek. Vernon said accumulated water ended up pumped into a storage tank for disposal.
The next step is to remove contaminated soil, Skinner said. Equipment to remove soil was on site Wednesday, but excavation could not begin because the ground was too wet, Vernon said.
Skinner said there are no water wells near the spill. Vernon said the nearest Hennessey water well is about two miles east and two miles south of the spill.
Curtis Turner, Hennessey’s director of public works, said he was not aware of immediate threat to the city water supply.
The city has a water treatment plant about three miles east and slightly south of the spill, Turner said. “The only way it would affect everyone is if it gets into the aquifer,” he said. The Cimarron Terrace Aquifer is about 27 feet below the acid spill, Turner said.
“We’re confident that the spill has been contained as it sits right now,” Skinner said. “We’re going to make sure the cleanup is done properly. The matter is under open investigation — this is not by any means finished. Any investigation of this type includes consideration of possible penalties. The primary goal as of right now is to get it cleaned up.”