Glenpool Family Finds Abandoned Oil Well Under Their Home

Tuesday, November 21st 2006, 10:39 am
By: News On 6

You think you'd be happy if you discovered oil on your land, but not when it's directly under your house. That's what happened in Glenpool.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says Charles Hughes and his wife have lived in their house for nearly 30 years. But the oil well has been there for nearly 100 years.

Charles Hughes says he first noticed the problem started last month. "We kept getting a foul smell in the house, and we couldn't figure out what it was." With a small army of ONG workers lining their street, they focused on one spot, and Hughes says he couldn't believe what they found. "The well is right about here under my feet, and when they dug up under the house, they hit a cavern of crude oil, and it was just bubbling where the gas was coming out of it."

He says the pool of oil was just two, maybe three feet under the house. And he was told it was pretty high quality too. Of course, oil wells are not uncommon in Glenpool. There are still working ones right in Hughes neighborhood. But to have one right under his feet for 30 years and not know it. "An oil well under our house was the furthest thing from our minds. Y'know the records are so old, and back in 1912, the 1900's the records weren't that good. They didn't have the regulations they do now, so it's just one of those that got by."

He can laugh about it now, but at the time, they didn't know who it belonged to or who would be responsible and with just two years left on their 30-year mortgage. "We could have lost everything."

As it turns out, the well was owned by Producers Oil Company, which was bought by Texaco, which merged with Chevron and Hughes says Chevron has bought his house, paid their living expenses, everything. "Anything we've needed, they've provided for us, and we appreciate that a lot." Now he says he and his wife are looking forward to moving into a different house in Bixby. "The motel after 3 weeks got kind of old."

Hughes says British Petroleum officials told him they've been doing some water-pressure flushing of some of the wells in that area and that likely forced up the oil in the forgotten well under his house. They're going to tear down his house and cap it for good this time.