ADA — The Oklahoma Energy Resources Board honored the Oklahoma Corporation Commission District IV Field Office Thursday for its help fulfilling the board’s main mission – restoring abandoned and orphaned well sites.

District IV, based in Ada and covering southeast Oklahoma, submitted 158 sites for remediation in 2007. These sites resulted in 75 clean-up projects in the region. George Hirn of Bowlegs was named the district’s Outstanding Field Inspector for turning in 61 of those projects for consideration – the most of any District IV field inspector last year. This is the eleventh year in a row Hirn has been named the District IV Outstanding Field Inspector.

OERB executive director Mindy Stitt is grateful for the partnership her organization has with the OCC district offices. “These field inspectors are our men and women on the street. They know the land and the people who live on it,” said Stitt. “We rely on them to assess the damage done to the land, the potential environmental harm of the site and more. Their service to the oil and natural gas industry and our state is significant.”

Steve Sowers, OERB environmental director, said the organization depends on field inspectors to find suitable restoration projects. “The OERB wouldn’t be successful without the work that the folks in District IV do. We want to encourage them to continue supporting our mission.” Sixteen percent of all sites submitted in 2007 came from the District IV office.

Other field inspectors honored Thursday for submitting one to 11 projects were Jon Cavanaugh of Dustin; Grant Ellis of Stonewall; Hollis Hammond of Red Oak; Jeff Krebbs of Stonewall and Gary Wood of Ada. Field inspectors honored with a “Dirty Dozen” award for submitting at least 12 projects were Wayne Stinson of Holdenville and Simon Winlock of Shawnee.

With the help of the OCC and its field inspectors, the OERB has restored more than 8,900 abandoned well sites in Oklahoma and spent more than $49 million dollars in the clean-up effort. Several hundred more sites are currently in some phase of restoration and the OERB is aggressively encouraging field inspectors and the general public to recommend more projects. Sites can be submitted by phone at 1-800-664-1301 or online at OERB.com.

Created by the Oklahoma Legislature in 1993, the OERB is funded voluntarily by oil and natural gas producers and royalty owners through a one-tenth of 1 percent assessment on the sale of oil and natural gas. The OERB’s purpose is to conduct environmental restoration of orphaned and abandoned well sites and to educate Oklahomans about energy. For more information visit OERB.com.