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Homeowners seek relief from oil well racket

Homeowners in a residential area near SW 29th and Cimarron Road are upset over the disturbance caused by an oil well recently drilled near their homes.

The noise began with the drilling operation in May and June when residents reported “screeches and engine noises” as well as a vibration that could be felt inside their residences.

In September, the oil company began hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations, which produces a high level of noise and vibration, and once that operation was completed a generator is now ringing up the decibel level 24 hours a day.

Homeowners in the Fontaine Place addition are upset over the impact the well is having on their quality of life and say complaints to the oil company, Citizens Energy Group of Tulsa, are being ignored.

Jaime Johnson is one of many who are complaining about the noise and increased truck traffic caused by the drilling operation. The Iraqi war veteran has nothing against the oil industry and the drilling taking place near large housing additions, he just wants the sound mitigated to an endurable level.

Johnson’s home is about 150 yards from the drilling rig and, although fracking operations are over, he said the noise from the generator is too high and said complaints to the oil company are falling on deaf ears.

“The simplest thing would be for the operator to install sound barriers around all their equipment during operation or, during daylight hours, to reduce the affect on surrounding homes.” 

Johnson said placing sound barriers around all the equipment would reduce the noise from the generator but a Citizens Energy representative told him those plans weren’t feasible for the company because of the costs.

“In the metro they have to erect sound walls because they can get fined,” Johnson said.

“We’re out here on the outskirts of Yukon and Oklahoma City, and I’m sure they’ll just see what they can get away with.”

He stresses that he’s not saying the company shouldn’t be able to operate the well, but would like them to “consider the affect the drilling operation has on the surrounding community.”

Another serious problem with the oil operation being near so many residences is the danger posed by the large trucks that constantly enter and leave the drilling site. Johnson

said his wife has been run off the road more than once by the trucks, including tractor-trailer rigs.

“They don’t look when they start pulling out of there they just start driving out,” he said.

Residents in the area are also concerned there will be more drilling done in the area now that the first well is completed.

“I want protections in place,” Johnson said. “I want the community to know because if they’re going to come in and do another one on the other side of our neighborhood, I want it done better. I want them to put up a sound wall, plant some trees, and have some kind of traffic control to protect drivers during daylight hours to prevent accidents. There are things that they can do and I’d love to see them done.”

Efforts to contact Citizens Energy Group for a statement were unsuccessful.

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