WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – People in part of Weld County are worried about what’s coming out of a broken oil well.
A green liquid has been oozing from the well north of Windsor since Monday morning. The owner says part of the well failed.
CBS4’s Ty Brennan was told the liquid is flow-back water, which consists of oil and water. It’s basically what comes out after the fracking process. Those who own and operate the well said they hoped to have it capped by Tuesday night.
“It’s been going on for over 24 hours now,” Ken Hall said.
Hall has a front row seat to the liquid spewing out of the oil rig, which is located a few hundred feet away from his backyard.
“I went, ‘Oh no, this is not good,’ ” Hall said.
Hall said the liquid has been flowing since 9:30 a.m. Monday.
“It’s a lot of fluid, there’s a pond down there that’s formed,” he said.
The well is owned and operated by PDC Energy, a Denver-based company with a large presence in Weld County. Senior Vice President of Operations Bart Brookman said it was a mechanical failure at the newly drilled well which lead to the leak.
“A piece of surface equipment, which we refer to as the ‘well head,’ had what we call a ‘dog bolt’ sheer off, which caused the release of what we call ‘flow-back fluid,’ ” Brookman said.
Brookman said the flow-back fluid consists of water and oil and that a team is making sure to clean it up.
“We’ve got an environmental team, we have booms on location absorbing it, and a recovery trench that that fluid is flowing in to,” Brookman said.
An engine from the Windsor-Severance Fire Rescue has been on scene the whole time, but there is no natural gas coming from the leak.
Hall calls oil drilling a double-edged sword.
“We need the energy, we need the jobs, but we need to be safe, and we need the facts,” Hall said.