Antero fined $150,000 for pipeline leak in Silt

Oil and gas drilling is the gift that keeps on giving. As I’ve pointed out several times, when these operators move out, they leave a big mess behind.

On Monday, May 6, The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved a measly $150,000 fine as part of a consent agreement reached with Antero Resources due to a leak from a produced-water pipeline. The Commission determined that Antero violated rules on pollution and management of waste in the incident.

The leak was discovered in a gravel pit at 4845 CR 346 west of Silt, in July 2010. The gravel pit is owned by Grant Brothers Construction. A failed weld in a plastic pipe seeped a paraffin-like substance that caused high levels of benzene, a carcinogen, in the groundwater and soil.

According to the COGCC, the 36 wells on five well pads in the Colorado River floodplain were the sources of the contaminated water.

COGCC Commissioner Richard Alward of Grand Junction pointed out how much time has lapsed since the leak’s discovery in 2010, saying, “It’s now 2013, and we’re now finally resolving things.”

According to COGCC staff, the delay occurred because Antero had tried several different methods of cleaning up the contamination. They finally settled on full excavation, and that was completed last September. The state then allowed at least six months for environmental monitoring.

Antero Resources sold its assets in the Piceance Basin to Ursa Resources in December 2012, and the company no longer operates in Colorado.

According to a KREX-TV News investigation in November 2010, the leak resulted from shoddy pipeline construction on the property formerly owned by Bob Regulski at River Ranch in Silt, located on the south bank of the Colorado River in Silt:
NC5 Investigation: Uninspected Antero Pipelines Already Leaking
Chemicals seeping from faulty welding seals since pipes were constructed two years ago

Background on the Regulski pipeline dispute:

Rancher Sues, GarCo Halts “Reckless” Gas Pipeline Work

County backs off from suit against Antero

Silt man settles with Antero over pipeline dispute

Landowner renews legal battle with Antero over pipeline work

The last known owner of the property where the pipeline is located was Antero Resources. Currently it is not known who owns former Regulski property.

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