Oil spill in Oklahoma City river may take days to clean up

A leak of 250 barrels of oil from an abandoned pipeline in the Deep Fork of the Canadian River is being cleaned up by the EPA.
BY JOHN A. WILLIAMS Modified: June 24, 2010 at 7:04 am •  Published: June 23, 2010

Cleanup from an oil spill into the Deep Fork of the Canadian River found Monday by a bridge inspector is expected to continue into next week. The 250-barrel leak happened two miles south of Arcadia Lake.

Gary Heavin, an Oklahoma County field inspector for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, said the oil leak came from a pipeline that had been abandoned for decades. The leak has been sealed and the spill has been contained, he said.

The leak was found by a Department of Transportation bridge inspector where the Deep Fork flows under Britton Road.

"He saw the oil sheen and reported it to the Department of Environmental Quality and they reported it to us," Heavin said.

Workers from Duke Conoco-Phillips, which does not own the pipeline, traced the leak to a pipeline near Wilshire Road and Interstate 35.

"It had a small pinhole in it leaking oil into the river," Heavin said. "It was 8,000 feet long from point of origin, but because of the slow-moving current, it was easily contained."

Heavin said the leak was plugged with a clamp.

The pipeline was not under pressure since it's no longer active, Heavin said.

"You're not going to see tar balls floating up on Lake Arcadia," he said.

The Environmental Protection Agency is coordinating the cleanup using skimmers, containment and absorbing booms, pumps and a vacuum truck.

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