Oil rig explosion rocks Watonga; fire could burn for days

An oil well fire continues to burn Tuesday morning as an oil and gas company works to extinguish the blaze that started Monday night.
From Staff Reports Modified: September 20, 2011 at 8:25 am •  Published: September 20, 2011

An oil drilling rig continues to burn Tuesday morning as an oil and gas company works to extinguish the blaze that started Monday night.

An oil rig fire could burn for several days before crews plug it, Blaine County Sheriff Ricky Ainsworth said Tuesday.

A representative of Continental resources told the sheriff Tuesday all of the rigging has to be removed from the wellhead before cement can be dumped to plug the well. An estimate of how long it will take has not been given, Ainsworth said.

Representatives of Continental Resources, an oil and gas company based in Enid, have taken over the oil rig burning southeast of the city, a Blaine County dispatcher said Tuesday.

Kristin Miskovsky, spokeswoman for Continental Resources Inc. of Enid, said an oilfield firefighting team, Wild Well Control is en route to the fire. The fire is contained and the sheriff's department has released the scene to the company. The fire is continuing to burn, which is "the safest course of action," Miskovsky said.

No vehicles near the oil drilling rig have been damaged and no injuries reported.

Roadblocks remain in place at roads a mile from the fire that started Monday night, dispatcher, C.J. Woulard said Tuesday.

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