State tracking 27,000 gallons of spilled oil after flooding


An oil tank floats on its side in flood waters near the intersection of Industrial Parkway and Brantner Avenue in Evans.

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DENVER — The Colorado Oil and Gas Commission reported Monday that they are tracking eight oil and condensate spills caused by last week’s flooding.

The spills have released an estimated 27,000 gallons or 641 barrels.  For context, that is equal to the oil contained in two typically sized storage tanks.

The COGCC is tracking 10 additional locations with some evidence of release of oil, such as a sheen on the water, and another 33 locations where there appears to be damage to tanks or other equipment but no obvious indication of a release.

Two oil spills were found over the weekend, including a 36 barrel spill from a Noble Energy location and a 26 barrel spill at an Anadarko Petroleum location.

The COGC, the industry’s trade association, said no fracking operations were underway when the floods hit — meaning “no fracking fluids, no chemicals associated with fracking, nor equipment were on sites at the time of the flooding.”

About 1,300 wells remain shut-in following the flood. Some sites remain inaccessible for physical inspection, while others will require repairs ranging from minor to substantial before wells on location can return to production.

Anti-fracking groups continue to believe flood waters mixed with oil will contaminate drinking water.

“Toxic chemicals, such as cancer-causing benzene, have mixed with floodwaters posing a severe public health hazard,” said Lindsey Wilson, field associate with Environment Colorado. “While we do not know the full extent of the contamination, we know that thousands of Coloradans’ drinking water could be affected.”

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