Sapulpa Homeowners Don't Want Oil Rigs Near Their Property

Saturday, November 11th 2006, 2:11 pm

By: News On 6

SAPULPA, Okla. (AP) About a dozen Sapulpa landowners are fighting an attempt by an Oklahoma City-based oil company to drill on or near their property.

Legacy LLC, an oil and gas operating company, owns some of the land where the drilling would take place, as well the mineral rights. Rod Wright, a managing member of the company, said only a few people would be affected by the drilling.

Some of the properties have oil wells that have previously been capped, Sapulpa City Manager Tom DeArman said. Higher oil prices have fueled the company's interest in reopening those wells, he said.

The landowners are concerned about property damage, ``which is natural,'' DeArman said. ``I wouldn't want anybody to do that either.''

Company attorneys and landowners met with DeArman and the Sapulpa city attorney on Friday to discuss a possible compromise, but no details were released about the meeting. DeArman said the city must approve of any drilling.

Property owner Howard Smith said some of the homes in the 100-acre area are worth more than $500,000.

``We live in a peaceful deal and all of a sudden, this guy comes in and says, 'We're going to come in and drill.' It's been shocking,'' Smith said. ``This has taken us so much by surprise.''

Donna Darnell, the state Corporation Commission's manager for oil and gas complaints and information, said such drilling could take a couple of weeks or several months.

Darnell said companies would owe property owners for surface damages from drilling.

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