Regulators proceeding with contempt complaint over oil leak into floodwaters

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has started contempt proceedings against the Shanks Drilling and Production Company of Bixby over an oil leak during the flooding of the Arkansas River.

The leak was observed last week and led state regulators to notify the Environmental Protection Agency of a possible violation of federal rules and regulations.

A spokesman for the Corporation Commission indicated that a Shanks Company worker explained valves had been opened to get water into some tanks and give  them weight so they would not float away in the floodwaters. Instead, oil leaked from the tanks.

Of at least four other such incidents connected to the flooding, the Bixby incident was the only one reported to the EPA. As of late last week, inspectors for the OCC were not able to reach the leaking tanks because of the floodwaters.