— Oil spilled from an old pipeline into a river and the city of Tulsa is taking it on the chin.
The city of about 11,000 residents received more than 1,000 calls for help from residents who called to report the oil spill on Wednesday afternoon.
The spill prompted the city to call for oil companies to begin removing the oil from the river.
Tulsa’s Oil and Gas Commission issued a call for a $4.5 million emergency response.
It said the oil had been on the ground for two days, but was still moving and there was no oil in the river’s upper reaches.
The commission has asked for an oil company to begin removal of oil from its spill site by Thursday morning.
Tulsa Mayor Don Bredesen said he had no idea the oil was on the river, and called it a surprise.
“The City of Tulsa’s response to this incident has been exemplary, to say the least,” Bredensen said.
“The oil has been cleaned up, the oil is safely disposed of and we’re doing our best to clean up this oil spill.”
Tulsa police Chief Mike Yarbrough said he believes the oil came from a pipeline and that he hopes to have the oil in place by Friday morning.
The mayor said the city is asking people to stay away from the site.
Bredescu said he doesn’t believe oil will stay on the surface of the river and that the city has been told to stay in contact with the oil company.
“They told us to keep the water out, so it is very, very dangerous,” he said.
Tulsas oil company, Exxon Mobil, said it would have to remove the oil on Friday.
The company said in a statement it was working with the city on the cleanup and will be working with city and state agencies to ensure that the water stays safe.
“We are grateful for the assistance of the Tulsa Police Department and all law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, to help us with this effort,” Exxon Mobil said.