By Chris Eversole
While nearby property owners nervously await planned drilling of two oil and natural gas wells in far northwest Mustang, a judge has schedule a hearing for Monday on the city’s lawsuit over the project.
Canadian County District Judge Paul Hesse will hear the City of Mustangs motion for a temporary injunction requiring Citizens Energy II, of Tulsa, to comply with the city’s conditional use permits for the wells.
The permits require the company to erect a 16-foot-tall sound barrier.
However, Citizens Energy II, LLC, wrote the city on Nov. 8 that it intended to start drilling as soon as a rig was available without complying with the conditional use permit, states the lawsuit the city filed against the company.
Meanwhile, the company is preparing the well site on Frisco Road, much to the disappointment of Deborah Overvig, who lives immediately south of the well site.
“It’s a dirty thing to do,” she said of the drilling project, which will use fracking. “It’s pretty rotten.”
She worried about the noise of drilling and fracking interrupting her sleep and making it hard for her to get up at her customary 3:30 a.m. to prepare to go work by 4:30 at the Walmart deli.
She’s nervous about how the ruckus of drilling and fracking will affect her four Airedale dogs, which already are jittery by the trucks and graders working on the site.
She’s worried about the impact of the drilling project on her water well.
Citizens did not respond to requests for comments, but previously officials promised to do everything they can to reduce noise — including using high-quality mufflers on their equipment.
The mufflers will reduce the noise as much as a sound barrier would, said company representative Curtis Johnson.
Wayne Smith, a company consultant, explained that both of the oil and gas wells would be nearly two miles deep – well below the aquifer used for household wells.
Just before the council approved the special use permits, Mayor Jay Adams told protesting residents: “It’s a bitter pill you’ve got to swallow.”
The bitter pill is that state law prevents the city from stopping Citizens.
The council does have some power — to set some conditions on the drilling and well operation.
The conditions the council employed in this case require that the company do the following:
- Install the sound barrier around the well site
- Repair road damage from company trucks
- Keep on state highways expect for the last half mile to the site
During his comments at the public hearing on the wells, Calvin Duffey, who has a horse farm near the drilling site, was filled with emotions.
“It’s wrong to put it this close to homes,” he said. “Every time I come home, it makes me mad.”