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Creek County Residents Frustrated At Companies Testing Their Land For Oil

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David Oles said when an energy company came to him about searching for oil on his property, he didn't think twice about it. David Oles said when an energy company came to him about searching for oil on his property, he didn't think twice about it.
The left photo shows David Oles' property before seismic testing and the right image shows the property after the testing. The left photo shows David Oles' property before seismic testing and the right image shows the property after the testing.
"What it makes you feel like is you have no rights," said resident Bobbie Jo Bramlett. "What it makes you feel like is you have no rights," said resident Bobbie Jo Bramlett.
CREEK COUNTY, Oklahoma -

Some Creek County landowners are furious that oil companies are ripping through their property to search for oil. But, technically, landowners don't have the legal right to kick the companies off their property.

"I have worked my rear end out here all this summer and you can't tell," said David Oles.

Oles said when an energy company came to him about searching for oil on his property, he didn't think twice about it.

"If they did not find anything, they would leave everything back as close as to how it was, other than planting the 100-year old trees, which I understood that."

But Oles said that didn't happen.

His land was left ripped up. Where there used to be dozens of trees, there are now stumps, weeds, and tons of rocks.

Because of Oklahoma's Seismic Exploration Regulation Act, which lawmakers passed last year, Oles couldn't kick the oil company off his property. The law states any company with a valid permit can come onto your land and you can't do anything about it.

TGC Industries is one of the companies currently doing the seismic testing in Creek County. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says that company has filled out one of these forms and everything it is doing is perfectly legal.

"What it makes you feel like is you have no rights," said resident Bobbie Jo Bramlett. "It makes you feel like all of your efforts and everything you've done all your life really means nothing, technically."

Bramlett recently received a letter from Eagle Land and Mineral Company, which is working with TGC Industries. It notified her that contractors will come and test for oil on her land within the next few days.

"I've got 31.5 acres. You start bringing in big trucks on my little piece of paradise, it takes no time and I don't have paradise," she said.

Bramlett said her farm is a place where kids come to enjoy nature and animals. Contractors have already marked parts of it with pink streamers and stakes. She said she fears her peaceful paradise may vanish once the testing begins.

"We all work very hard for what we got. We have always sacrificed for our land and our future on our land, so you couldn't give me a million dollars and make me happy," Bramlett said.

The company is offering $10 per acre for damages.

If oil is found, the landowners will not get paid unless they own the mineral rights.

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