Parachute Creek spill: Day 16

Crews work at the site of a natural gas seep four miles north of Parachute, Colo., at the Parachute Creek Gas Plant on Monday, Mar. 18, 2013. The leak has spilled about 5,400 gallons of a hydrocarbon fluid that has not yet been identified. (AP PHOTO/ Dean Humphrey/ The Daily Sentinel)

Crews work at the site of a natural gas seep four miles north of Parachute, Colo., at the Parachute Creek Gas Plant on Monday, Mar. 18, 2013. The leak has spilled about 5,400 gallons of a hydrocarbon fluid that has not yet been identified. (AP PHOTO/ Dean Humphrey/ The Daily Sentinel)

Grand Valley Citizens Alliance Meeting
Monday, March 25
1:00 p.m.
Rifle Branch Library
Come one – come all! There will be plenty to talk about!

The story just showed up at truthout, a national progressive online news source:  Thousands of Gallons of Pollution Recovered From Oil and Gas Spill in Colorado

We’re gaining traction!

Today’s PI update —

Hydrocarbon plume still a mystery
Source of suspected leak, identity of substance eluding industry, state and federal officials

The source of the spill remains unknown.

The content of the “hydrocarbon liquid” continues to “bedevil industry, state and federal attempts to identify the liquids and locate the source of a suspected pipeline leak.”

We don’t know whether the flow of hydrocarbon liquid to the underground plume site has been stopped.

To date, about 113,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater have been removed. In today’s PI article, Williams spokeswoman Donna Gray reported: “The amount of water pumped up along with the hydrocarbons is roughly 2,700 barrels which equals more than 110,000 gallons.” The 110,000 gallons is lower than the 113,000 gallons reported yesterday in The Daily Sentinel, so I’m sticking with the higher number. Also I don’t know what gallons to barrels conversion tables they are using. Their barrel numbers are confusing so I’m sticking with gallons.

Also about 6,000 gallons of “unknown” hydrocarbon liquid have been removed from the site by vacuum trucks.

On March 21, Williams posted an operational update at their website. They are still claiming: “There is no evidence of impact to Parachute Creek.” It will be interesting to see how many updates they post. It’s weird they used the “operational update” category. Are spills and leaks just business-as-usual for Williams?

Williams Update on Activity Near Its Parachute, Colo., Facility

This next Denver Post article is about the increasing number of spills in Colorado. Curiously, there is no mention of the current Parachute Creek spill. I wonder why. In any case, the article outlines a huge problem that the COGCC is unable to deal with adequately.

Drilling spills rise in Colorado, but fines rare
With more wells added daily, activists voice concerns and regulators increase inspections

Senate Bill 202, introduced on March 12 by Sen. Matt Jones (D-Louisville), would add more state inspectors in order to inspect every oil and gas “location” in the state once a year. Currently there are 50,375 active wells across the state. Would more inspectors make a difference? That remains to be seen.

Finally a blast from the past. This week in history, five years ago to be exact, The Denver Post uncovered at least four leaks and spills north of Parachute.

Soil tower, spills loom over water
Overflow from drilling near Parachute has left behind a “waterfall” of frozen gunk and a huge erosion deposit.
March 26, 2008

Garden Gulch, a remote ravine north of the town of Parachute, has been the site of four spills and leaks from oil and gas drilling in the past five months.

New information pegs it as also being the site of a huge soil-erosion deposit that fell during the building of an oil-field pipeline above.As was the case in two of the spills, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission wasn’t notified, as required by law, about the erosion problem.

Commission inspectors discovered the huge tower of soil-blackened mud and ice on their own. The unidentified pipeline builder has been issued a violation notice …

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2 Comments on “Parachute Creek spill: Day 16”

  1. richard schwabe Says:

    They do not put the production water in pipes. They put it in tanker trucks and pump it in a designated “injection” wells to dispose of, AKA Valley Farms D-3 well pad. They need to look at the nearest “injection” well site for the leek. These wells are 7 to 8 thousand ft deep. If their is any underground shifting to cause faulting or fissures, it could easily surface. They need to depose of the production water far away from people and water sources.

  2. Bob Arrington Says:

    @ 42 gal./bbl. 2700 bbl = 113,400 gal. BTW since they still haven’t located source, it should be classified and only referred to as a SEEP rather than a SPILL. A seep includes ponds, wells and injection wells as well as containers i.e. vehicles, tanks and pipelines. It is still unknown source and could even be from active wells ( from uncemented annulus zones) that have been drilled on surrounding plateaus and leaking through horizontal formation seams or gravel layers.
    Early on it should have been identified as either pipes or tanks by pressure loss or level drop.

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