Flood-generated oil, gas spills total 25,000 gallons

No fracking operations going on before flooding

DENVER - More than 25,000 gallons of oil and gas have been spilled as a result of historic Colorado flooding, a state commission said Saturday.

Hundreds of billions of gallons of rain fell and flowed through 4,500 square miles of affected areas over the past several days. These waters have been contaminated with millions of gallons of raw sewage, runoff form cars stranded on roadways, household chemicals, insecticides, and other raw chemicals. 

It is uncertain whether all will be -- or can be -- cleaned up.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association reported on Saturday that  teams have now assessed roughly 35 percent of the impacted areas. Wet, muddy and high-water conditions continue to make access slow and difficult in many areas

The COGCC is tracking six notable releases. That is one additional notable release --74 barrels (3,108 gallons) from a Noble location near Milliken -- since the information it provided in Friday's update (below). This makes the total amount of known oil releases more than 25,000 gallons. That is roughly equivalent to two, 300-barrel oil storage tanks.

In addition the commission is tracking 12 locations with visible evidence of a release, such as a sheen or damage to equipment. No estimates of product losses are available for those sites. COGCC is coordinating with operators to develop more information about these sites as soon as practicable.

Two spills were reported on Friday along the South Platte near Evans -- 56 barrels, or about 2,400 gallons, from an Anadarko Petroleum Corp. site and 21 barrels, or about 800 gallons, from a Bayswater Exploration and Production facility.

Another new spill, reported by Anadarko, has not been measured, the commission update said.

The company PDC Energy also reported production equipment largely washed away at an undetermined site. State authorities were working with PDC to determine the amount of material that was on site before flooding began on Sept. 12.

State regulators confirmed more oil and gas spills totaling at least 3,200 gallons in Colorado's flooded South Platte River valley and estimated that 24 storage tanks toppled in the past week's rush of water and debris.

Five spills in and along the river in Weld County currently are deemed "notable," according to a Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission update Friday afternoon.

Over 1,500 wells are still shut-in, with hundreds of personnel inspecting and repairing affected sites. No rigs have been impacted in the flood areas, the COGCC said.

No hydraulic fracturing drilling operations were being conducted at the time of the flood, so no hydraulic fracturing chemicals were stored on any sites impacted by flood waters, the commission said.

Updates will be posted as they become available will be reported on Colorado Floods Update: Oil & Gas Response. http://www.coga.org/index.php/Events/ColoradoFloods  Any additional information on well or tank leaks can be sent to info@coga.org.

The Environmental Protection Agency is also assessing spills that flow into Colorado rivers.

Print this article Back to Top