WEYBURN, Saskatchewan – Sixteen members of the Estevan, SK area RCMP detachment descended on what appeared to be a party last night at an oil battery operated by Bark Resources.
Fire and paramedics were called in to treat 7 people who sustained significant injuries while the canine team searched for an additional 4 people that disappeared from the premises.
An impromptu post-work brewski was arranged via social media by two men from the Weyburn area for around 8:00pm. According to popular speculation, word got out through both Facebook and Twitter, resulting in what some were calling a “Well Wrecker.”
Man it was crazy. I saw Jason and Clayton swingin’ from the damn pipes over there, Aaron was playing Whack-A-Valve, and I know the 4 guys that got hurt were trying to get 8 seconds on the pump jack.
I don’t know what happened to Jeremy, Steve, Cam, or Bill, but did anyone check that water tank? They were talking about a midnight swim. – Sheldon Seachin, partygoer
It appears that at roughly 2:00 AM, a fire started in the chemical building and quickly spread along the lines running out to the pump jack and motor house. While fire did not do extreme damage to the pumping equipment, the oil storage tank was soon on fire and a nearby farmer called emergency services.
By the time fire and police arrived, most of the partygoers had left in the 5 vehicles not stuck in the mud on location. 32 people remain in custody this morning while police investigate.
We arrived and found the oil separators and storage tank burning out of control, much of the 2 buildings were destroyed, and the pump jack wasn’t operational. 32 individuals intoxicated, half naked, and trying to push cars out of the mud. It was not obvious to them that the cars were not running at the time, which also prevents us from charging them with DUI.
The fire appears to have started when a chemical pump over heated, but we are still looking into that part of this incident. The fact that the fire spread due to clothes being hung on the lines all over the lease may result in related charges being laid against some of the individuals who are in custody. – Charlie Shcrumlick, Staff Sergeant Weyburn Security Force, Squad Alpha-Bravo
Investigators report that over 400 videos from the party have been uploaded to YouTube already, and detectives are scouring the footage for more positive identifications, and to look for any reasons that the fire may have started. They are also having a good laugh at the idiots riding the pump jack. The WSFSAB has shut down the battery for at least 10 days while it collects evidence. A spokesman for Bark Resources commented:
This single well battery processed roughly 2100 m3 of effluent per day, and it is a major blow to Bark. Bark is very disappointed in our youth today, and cannot believe they would just show up and destroy a nice oil well like ours.
We are going to file for an insurance claim, but who knows if that was even renewed this year or not. We also want to know why several operators from Gheytex Energy, our regional competitor, were at that party and if they had anything to do with the fire. – Riley Rofe, Bark Resources Field Superintendent