More oil, gas damage reported throughout Weld County
Source: Greeley Tribune (CO), September 21, 2013
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com
The oil and gas carnage in Weld County has grown, now with three exploration companies noting problems due to flooding and almost 22,000 gallons of oil either on the ground or in floodwaters.
As of Friday afternoon, four spills had been reported by Anadarko Petroleum Corp., and one by Bayswater Exploration. Additionally, oil production equipment at a PDC Energy site has largely washed away.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission estimates roughly 22,000 gallons of oil have been spilled thus far.
But that may not be the half of it. Only 30 percent of the impacted areas has been assessed, reported Todd Hartman, of the Department of Natural Resources, which oversees the COGCC. Many areas, he reported, continue to be inaccessible due to either closed roads or floodwaters.
“The COGCC is tracking five notable releases, with volume amounts confirmed for four of those,” Hartman wrote.
Those include releases of 323 barrels (13,566 gallons) and 125 barrels (5,250 gallons) from Anadarko locations, reported Thursday. Two additional releases of 56 barrels (2,352 gallons) at an Anadarko location and 21 barrels (882 gallons) at a Bayswater Exploration and Production location also have been confirmed, Hartman reported.
Both of the latter two locations are along the South Platte River near Evans, Hartman reported.
Anadarko officials have reported 150 emergency crews on the ground trying to gain access to all 675 well sites in the flood plains, reporting a vast majority of the sites are intact. Crews are doing immediate cleanup if they find any releases, they said. That includes vacuuming up any releases, and immediately reporting the spills.
“As we can get to facilities safely and take a look at how the facilities are, we can better address them,” said Korby Bracken, director of environmental health and safety at Anadarko in an interview Thursday.
Company spokesman John Christiansen added: “We’ve been very active in not only assessing our facilities and operations but in reporting any issues. Something that we want to make clear, is we’re out there very much in front of this.”
Hartman said Anadarko has reported an additional spill, but the volume is unknown at this time.
“A location operated by PDC had its production equipment largely washed away. The agency is working with the operator to ascertain the amount of product that was on site before flooding began,” Hartman wrote.
Hartman reported that the COGCC’s aerial survey Thursday revealed as many as two dozen tanks overturned in the flood plains.
“Releases from these tanks have not been confirmed but are certainly a possibility,” Hartman reported. “In addition we are tracking 11 locations with visible evidence of a release, such as a sheen. No estimates of product losses are available for those sites. COGCC is coordinating with operators to reach these sites as soon as practicable.”