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Oil well hit Saturday on Vicky Pike's property
By Linda Waggener
Normally the CM feature writer and photographer Vicky Pike writes about farm news, activities of the Fiscal Court, Board of Elections, and business growth in her Greater Bliss/New Columbia sector of Adair County on both sides of exit 48 off the LBN/Cumberland Parkway.
However, this week Vicky found herself the focus of the news rather than the writer of the news. Her farm, named the Pampered Angus Ranch by the late CM editor Ed Waggener, was in preparation to have its first well drilled in the line of oil strikes hit one after another in that community.
The well setup was done on Friday. She said her girls, as she fondly calls her pampered Black Angus cattle, were not at all disturbed by the big rig and all the noise that goes with it.
The girls may have known of the potential for a happy strike like some of the neighbors have enjoyed recently.
Even in nearly unbearable 28-30 degree temperatures, drilling began early Saturday morning with a planned result for around 3pm. Throughout the day the drillers were able to take quick breaks in the kitchen for hot chili, potato soup, cornbread, cinnamon rolls, donuts, peach cobbler and strong coffee. And there was a bottle of champagne on the shelf for later - just in case.
Limestone dust that sprays out during drilling is good for the soil, however the dust was kept down since the well is so near commercial businesses with water pumped from the house.
As the predicted time drew near, after 2pm, a small crowd began to gather toward the rig. Vicky found herself directing parking in front of, beside and behind the house and in the field between the house and the girls' barn.
As the three o'clock hour approched there was a slight whiff of crude oil and some color beginning to take up a portion of the limestone flow.
Testing was done every few minutes as the white mist mixed with beginning color and a stronger smell of sweet crude oil.
Smiles begin to grow among the drilling crew with nods to one another. Anticipation keep everyone focused.
At 3:20pm they reported to Vicky that they'd dig a pit, line it with plastic and edge it with dirt to hold the plastic in place once it started to blow.
That allowed her a chance to go get a heavier coat. Drilling and testing continued.
At 4pm there were concerned looks encouraging a few to take to their vehicles to warm up, but not Vicky. She stood right at the end of the pipe waiting, willing it to find the pool.
It was right around 5pm the white liquid turned to a full rich brown and the cheers went up. "This is a big one," Billy Withers told her.
It's another big strike in the neighborhood by Burness Drilling Company's John and Bill Burness, with Terry and Billy Withers of T & B Drilling Company. They've hit big wells on Connie Stotts' property, followed by a strike on what's known as the Bennett property, now owned by California corporation RF Enterprises.
Burness and company have also discovered big wells on the Lasley/Graves family farm and drilling is being done on the Curry property as well.
A big strike by Burchett Drilling Company from Albany, KY has resulted in five or six large tanks being set on the property owned by Lynn McLean and Dan and Doug Antle, leased to Anthony Hale.
Vicky said she told reporters who visited her in the build up to this well that she was the last to lease among her neighbors because she has lived on her G Browning Road family farm for 61 years and she doesn't intend for any damage to be done to it. The historic family property, since 1884, includes 43 acres on the north side of the parkway and 70 acres, called the Hunter place, on the south side of the parkway.
She's extatic with the results of this first hit on her farm. She says in answer to the many questions that have been posed to her in the months building up to the drill: no, she does not need a husband, and yes, she has a gun or two or three and plans to keep right on enjoying life on the Pampered Angus Ranch.
This story was posted on 2021-02-15 07:02:08
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