Oil well leaks ‘frac’ water for 30 hours in Weld County


Oil well in Weld County, Colo. spews ‘frac’ fluid after valve break. Photo courtesy: Greeley Tribune

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WINDSOR, Colo. — Fracking fluid with oil in it gushed from an oil well near Windsor for nearly 30 hours before crews stopped it Tuesday afternoon.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Commission says a hydraulic failure at 9:30 a.m. Monday caused a piece of equipment to fall onto a valve and break it.

A stream of fluid flowed from the valve until late Tuesday afternoon.

No one was hurt, and an official with PDC Energy, the operator of the well, says the spill was surrounded and the company did not expect any environmental problems.

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission spokesman Todd Hartman says the liquid is “frac” water with some oil so there was an odor with the spill.

PDC dug trenches around the spill to collect the fluid. A vacuum truck worked at the scene to clean up some of the fluid.

This happened as Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was in Washington addressing the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

The nearest home to the well was about 1,500 away. Officials say there was no danger of explosion. The Windsor Fire Department was on scene during the incident.

The well is about a one-half mile south of Harmony Road and four miles east of I-25 in Weld County.

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