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Oil drilling near my house- my first official complaint

 
pollinator
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The oil drilling near our house has been going on for about a year now. The rig was there, then it left. Apparently they lost the bit down the hole, couldn't get it out and just left. They came back later with a rig and apparently finished up drilling. It was capped for awhile and then they came back. More stuff done. Smaller drills. More stuff. It's been a lot over the year. Not bad though. Sure, it's not quiet here anymore and the traffic is way increased but we've been dealing well.

Last night though. They have a small drill up. I don't know what happened. It's like the Earth was being split open and destroyed. It was LOUD. There were alarms going off. The creaking of metal. LOUD LOUD LOUD. SCARY SCARY SCARY.

This morning, all is quiet.

I've had enough though. This has to stop. They can't just keep drilling into this little area for the rest of my life. My sanity can't handle it. Particularly since I'm not sleeping thanks to our infant. Now they are keeping me up. I can't. I can't. I can't.

I don't know what to do about it. Called EOG and asked them to PLEASE not be so loud at night. Oil and Gas Commission said they can't do anything about noise.

I'm depressed now.
 
pollinator
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>noise

Wow. It sounds like they're pretty close. But doesn't the drilling stop when they get to oil (or give up)? If they get oil, they install one of those grasshopper pumps to get it up and I don't _think_ they're noisy. ??? Or do I have this wrong. I've never had to deal with those people - just see their pumps bobbing up and down.


Regards,
Rufus
 
pollinator
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Yuck. How miserable, Elle!!! I hope they were quiet tonight.

Is it possible that their initial drilling was exploration drilling, and they have now returned to install the well ? If so, perhaps they are hydraulic fracturing (fracking?) the well right now? I've not heard it, but I imagine it could cause significant noise, as it can definitely be seen on a seismograph. If it was a shorter term noise, I wonder if they just got something stuck or dropped in the hole and were banging around trying to get past it or fish it out.

Does your town have a noise bylaw? I would be carefully documenting the times of day/types of noise (possibly videoing it), and consider calling the town if they persist at night. If you need to call the oil company again, I suggest mentioning you will be mentioning it to whoever, and documenting it. Usually resource companies bend over backwards to try and avoid pissing people off any more than they have to (or at least they do here in Canada, where they haven't a chance of getting a permit without "social licence" to operate).
 
pollinator
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Email them and ask them what the schedule for that well is. The smaller drills are probably not drills at all, they will be for investigating the hole. it almost sounds like last night was some casing going in, is there anything that might be a cement tank around? Or they lost a fish down the hole again, it's not uncommon but it is annoying.

It will stop, they will either get finished or give up, they can't drill all the time it costs a lot of money even on land. once they are done they are pretty quiet things. One of the reasons it stopped may well be what happened to the price of oil, it went negitive for some types in the US a few months back, that tends to stop them drilling, corona will also have had an affect, drilling companies tend to be very hot on health and safty.

The other thing is that it is likely that you've already had 2 or 3 different companies out by you so trying to get anything done about noise will be hard, as you won't know who to speak to.
 
elle sagenev
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Here's a pic of the drill from half my 40 acres away. It's pretty massive.

Looks like it's shoving pipe down the hole to me. It's had problems. The entire bottom of it turned black yesterday and it's been shut down. They took a piece away.

It would figure this whole thing would go terribly wrong. That's our luck in life.
106453367_10158373484433633_4479120714094309348_n.jpg
[Thumbnail for 106453367_10158373484433633_4479120714094309348_n.jpg]
 
gardener
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Elle, you really have my sympathies for whatever that is worth.

It really bugs me that mineral rights owners can basically ignore the rights of surface owners!  They should at the very least have to do some sort of noise abatement and surface reclamation when they are done.

I hope thing quiet down for you soon,

Eric
 
elle sagenev
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Eric Hanson wrote:Elle, you really have my sympathies for whatever that is worth.

It really bugs me that mineral rights owners can basically ignore the rights of surface owners!  They should at the very least have to do some sort of noise abatement and surface reclamation when they are done.

I hope thing quiet down for you soon,

Eric



worse than that we actually own our mineral rights. We didn't sign the lease but it didn't even matter. Force pooling in action.
 
pollinator
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I'm shocked they are drilling with oil prices where they are... But that sucks Elle. If it helps this does seem highly unusual for noise levels- I lived in Colorado as a kid and there were lots of wells at the time being drilled (early 80s) and I can't remember it being significant, so this seems like either a new technique or rig not working right. Noise is energy that is lost (from a physics perspective) so a quieter rig is generally more efficient.
 
elle sagenev
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Tj Jefferson wrote:I'm shocked they are drilling with oil prices where they are... But that sucks Elle. If it helps this does seem highly unusual for noise levels- I lived in Colorado as a kid and there were lots of wells at the time being drilled (early 80s) and I can't remember it being significant, so this seems like either a new technique or rig not working right. Noise is energy that is lost (from a physics perspective) so a quieter rig is generally more efficient.



The rig initially came  in the fall. This is like drill #1,000 on this pad.

I guess I should be thankful. They're piping everything from this pad to a section over where it will be refined. At least we don't have the big burn stack there.
 
pollinator
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Sounds like they had a "pressure event".  May not be much, but it should be more quiet soon.  Once they are done with the downhole work, the rig will leave and the maintenance will be minimal.  Just hope the "piece they took away" was not an expensive piece of the rig; or it may get real quiet now, and start up again later.  Sounds like the crew is having trouble with this bore.  Fishing broken bit, small blow outs, and damaged drill rig, hopefully they will get the pump set soon.  Peace and Patience.  
 
Skandi Rogers
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the pipe you see going down is probably casing, which means they are nearly done. hang in there!
 
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If on a well I would be concerned about the aquifer that provides my water. Perhaps getting a sample tested now as a benchmark would be a good idea?
 
elle sagenev
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James Whitelaw wrote:If on a well I would be concerned about the aquifer that provides my water. Perhaps getting a sample tested now as a benchmark would be a good idea?



You have to do that before they ever start drilling and then put a lock on your well so they can't claim it was poisoned by something else. We got that.
 
elle sagenev
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Skandi Rogers wrote:the pipe you see going down is probably casing, which means they are nearly done. hang in there!



They left yesterday. I'm not sure if it's because the drill thing was broken beyond repair and they'll be back, like they did with the rig, or if it's over. Hoping for over.
 
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Rufus Laggren wrote:But doesn't the drilling stop when they get to oil (or give up)? If they get oil, they install one of those grasshopper pumps to get it up and I don't _think_ they're noisy. ??? Or do I have this wrong. I've never had to deal with those people - just see their pumps bobbing up and down.
Regards,
Rufus



Rufus, we have two of those grasshopper pumps on our 40 acres and there are two more within sight across the road.  They are typical audible at various levels but only rarely noisy ... most often a screeching metal sound that repeats, or rhythmic groaning.  The bad news is, if the routine noise gets louder it means the drill rigs will be there in a day or two.

Sadly, the drilling type activity never stops.  Mind you, this oilfield is pushing 100 years old; it may be different on newer wells with newer equipment.  But here, each wellhead equipment set comes to a stop (sometimes with added noise, sometimes not) every few months.  Then they bring in one of those "little" truck-mounted drill rigs (the kind that are roadable without a circus parade of pilot cars, but still very large, with six or eight sets of huge dual tires under them) and erect it and spend two or three days clanking and gunning the unmuffled truck/crane/drill engine and shouting curses at each other.  I never watch very closely but it seems like the typical maintenance routine is to pull out all the rod going down into the well -- that's a lot -- so they can mess around with the pump head, then put it all back, sometimes adding in a bit of light-duty drilling procedure that involves assembling and inserting an entirely different set of rod with a drill bit head on the end.  This is all small-scale stuff -- I am told -- compared to modern wells in places like Wyoming.

It's not the end of the world; it's just life on the oilpatch, as it's been here since before living memory.  But having it all show up in a place you'd already settled would be unpleasant at best.
 
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