Friday, October 5, 2012

1.7 Million Gallons of Toxic Oil and Gas Liquids Unrecovered in Weld County Colorado







.........................................................................


February 27, 2012

Ms. Tisha Schuller
Colorado Oil and Gas Association
1660 Lincoln Street, Suite 2710
Denver, CO  80264

Dear Ms. Schuller,

It has recently come to our attention that your Association has paid for and is airing a radio advertisement about drilling and fracking in Colorado.  The ad is here: http://www.coga.org/audio/Gov_Hickenlooper_HF_Rule_30sec.mp3

This ad contains this sentence:  “Since then [2008] we have not had one instance of groundwater contamination association with drilling and hydraulic fracturing.” 

This sentence is not correct.

Specifically, our organizations have analyzed the 615 “Incident Spill Reports” for oil and gas drilling and fracking reported to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) in just one Colorado County (Weld) from 1/3/2008 – 1/5/2012.  These publicly searchable reports (Table 1 below)available on COGCC’s website reveal that:


1.      44% of spills have contaminated groundwater.
2.      2.8% of spills have contaminated surface water.
3.      40% of spills have resulted in or been caused by berm failures.

Further, we have also reviewed the 1,000 Incident Spill Reports available on COGCC’s website for Weld County, dated 8/28/2003 – 1/05/2012 (the COGCC website only lists the 1,000 most recent reports).  Those reports (table 2 below) reveal that:

1.      43% of spills have contaminated groundwater.
2.      3.1% of spills have contaminated surface water.
3.      43% of spills have resulted in or been caused by berm failures.

These reports are available for each the 40 oil and gas companies operating in Weld County, revealing that bulk of the spills and contamination are due to a handful of companies.

Further yet, we randomly sampled 60 of the 1,000 Spill Incident Reports and extrapolated those results to generate an estimate of fluid contamination.  Those results (Table 3 below) reveal that:

1.      Up to 824,600 gallons of oil have been spilled and “unrecovered” in Weld County.
2.      Up to 383,600 gallons of produced water has been spilled and “unrecovered” in Weld County.
3.      Up to 547,400 gallons of “Other” fluid has been spilled and “unrecovered in Weld County.  (“Other” may include fracking fluids.)

The results above are just for one County, Weld, and do not reflect spills and groundwater contamination in the 41 other Colorado counties in which oil and gas drilling and fracking occur. 
Because the statement in your radio ad is incorrect, we request that you correct the ad or remove it from the airwaves.

Respectfully,

Shane Davis, Chair, Poudre Canyon Group of the Sierra Club, shane.davis@rmc.sierraclub.org, 509-570-4422

Gary Wockner, PhD, Colorado Program Director, Clean Water Action, gwockner@cleanwater.org, 970-218-8310


1/3/2008 - 1/5/2012
271 YES
17 YES
246 YES
344 NO
598 NO
369 NO
GW CONTAM
44.0%
YES
GW CONTAM
56.0%
NO
SURFACE H2O CONTAM
2.8%
YES
SURFACE H2O CONTAM
97.2%
NO
BERM CONTAINED
40.0%
YES
BERM CONTAINED
60.0%
NO

Table 1
INCIDENT SPILL REPORTS
271 YES
17 YES
246 YES
2008
GW CONTAM
44.0%
YES
GW CONTAM
56.0%
NO
SURFACE H2O CONTAM
2.8%
YES
SURFACE H2O CONTAM
97.2%
NO
BERM CONTAINED
40.0%
YES
BERM CONTAINED
60.0%
NO



Table 2:
Company Name
Ground Water
Surface Water
Berm Contained
TOTAL 1000 SPILL INCIDENT REPORTS
427 YES
31 YES
429 YES
40 OPERATORS –WELD COUNTY
563 NO
969 NO
571 NO




TOTAL PERCENTAGE FROM 1000 SPILL REPORTS
GW CONTAM
42.7%
YES

GW CONTAM
56.3%
NO


SURFACE H2O CONTAM
3.1%
YES

SURFACE H2O CONTAM
96.9%
NO


BERM CONTAINED
42.9%
YES

BERM CONTAINED
57.1%
NO












Company Name
Ground Water Contamination
Surface Water Contamination
Berm Not Contained
BAYSWATER EXPL AND PROD LLC   * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
100.0%
BLUE CHIP  * 2 reported
50.0%
0.0%
100.0%
BONANZA CREEK  * 21 reported  
16.0%
11.0%
63%
CDM  * 1 reported
0.0%
100.0%
100%
CHESAPEAKE  * 4 reported
0.0%
0.0%
0%
COLTON  * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
CONQUEST  * 5 reported
0.0%
0.0%
20.0%
DIAMOND  * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
100.0%
DUKE  * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
100.0%
EDDY  * 3 reported
67.0%
0.0%
100.0%
ENCANA  * 46 reported
44.0%
4.0%
61.0%
ENERVEST  * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
100.0%
EOG  * 4 reported
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
FOUNDATION  * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
FOUNTAINHEAD  * 3 reported
100.0%
0.0%
34.0%
GREAT WESTERN  * 2 reported
0.0%
0.0%
50.0%
GRYNBERG  * 3 reported
0.0%
0.0%
34.0%
HIGH PLAINS DISPOSAL  * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
HYNDREX  * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
100.0%
KP KAUFMAN  * 23 reported
13.0%
30.0%
91.0%
KERR MCGEE  * 391 reported
59.0%
2.0%
47.0%
LONE STAR  * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
100.0%
MACHII   * 6 reported
17.0%
17.0%
100.0%
MATRIX  * 2 reported
50.0%
0.0%
0.0%
MERIT  *15 reported
20.0%
0.0%
47.0%
MINERAL  * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
MONAHAN  *3 reported
0.0%
0.0%
67.0%
NOBLE  * 236 reported
31.0%
2.0%
69.0%
PATINA  * 20 reported
30.0%
0.0%
30.0%
PETRO CANADA  *29 reported
45.0%
0.0%
62.0%
PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT  *158 reported
47.0%
3.0%
67.0%
PRIMA  * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
RED WILLOW  * 3 reported
0.0%
0.0%
33.0%
STARLIGHT  * 3 reported
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
SYNERGY  * 2 reported
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
TEXAS AMERICAN RESOURCES *2 reported
0.0%
0.0%
100.0%
TOP OPERATORS * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
100.0%
US EXPLORATION  * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
WALSH PRODUCTIONS  * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
WINDSOR  * 1 reported
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%





































































Weld County “Spill Release Reports" (08/28/2003 - 01/05/2012)

60 Randomly Picked
If 60 statistically represent 1,000, estimated
Estimated Unrecovered Fluid (1,000 reports) 
Spill Area (square feet)
146,717,366
2,445,289,440

Oil Spilled (gal)
65,646
1,094,100

Oil Unrecovered (gal)
49,476
824,600
824,600
Produced Water Spilled (gal)
31,164
519,400

Produced Water Unrecovered (gal)
23,016
383,600
383,600
Other Spilled (gal)
34,104
568,400

Other Unrecovered (gal)
32,844
547,400
547,400
Total Estimated Unrecovered Fluid (gal)


1,755,600

1 comment:

  1. Kudos on the uncontrovertible evidence you present that completely contradicts and refutes the statements made by COGA that fracking has not polluted our groundwater in Colorado.

    This should be front page news in the Denver Post...as well as the LA and NY Times! The complacency of the US public and our regulatory agencies with such flagrant pollution of our environment is simply mind-boggling...and can only point to how much of the regulatory process is outrightly controlled by the very corporations that ostensibly being "regulated".

    The only recourse is citizen action -- onward!

    --Rick Casey
    East Boulder County United

    ReplyDelete

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