Oklahoma's oldest oil fields are cleaner this week as the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board celebrated its 13,000th abandoned oil field site restoration.
Backed by voluntary funds collected from the state's oil and natural gas producers, the OERB has spent more than $80 million on abandoned site cleanups since the program began in 1993.
“The oil and gas industry is taking responsibility and cleaning this up voluntarily,” OERB spokeswoman Jill Harrison said. “A lot of times these sites are on land that is being used. This particular site is on public land used for hunting and fishing. This is something very positive for the entire state.”
Increased drilling and higher oil and natural gas prices have boosted the OERB's budget, allowing it to pick up the cleanup pace.
The group has spent more than $5.4 million this year on its cleanup effort and is now completing about 1,000 sites each year, or almost three a day.
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For more information on the cleanup project or to report an abandoned oil field site, visit oerb.com/restoration.