Tennessee Fines Oil Well Owner $50K after Fire Forced Evacuations

March 31, 2008

The operator of an Anderson County, Tenn. oil well that burned for nearly a week has been cited by the state for five violations and fined $50,000.

According to the citation, Dan Potts was drilling too deeply and didn’t have the proper amount of land secured around the well.

The citation also states Potts violated state Oil and Gas Board rules involving blowout prevention, casing-heads and safety.

The well near Oliver Springs ignited March 19 after spewing oil and leaking natural gas were sparked by a passing motorist. Residents were forced to evacuate and the fire was put out after about a week.

The motorist, 21-year-old Jonathan Vann, was seriously burned. He has been discharged from Vanderbilt Burn Center in Nashville.

Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel,

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