WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The number of oil tanks leaking in Weld County and the surrounding area has become a major concern, but there is some good news.
Nearly 20,000 gallons of crude oil have spilled because of the flood waters, but the good news is that most of it has been remediated or cleaned up. There’s still a lot of clean-up left to do.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Association said there are about 1,500 wells that were shut in last week when the flooding initially occurred. There are also approximately 100 inspectors that are out looking for spilled thanks to make some necessary repairs.
No rigs were affected by the floods or the spilled tanks, nor were any fracking operations happening at the time of the flooding. That means there are no fracking chemicals that have like into the floodwaters.
Of the 20,000 gallons of crude spilled most came from two major spills, including one along the St. Vrain River. There were eight other minor leaks and an oil sheen covering some equipment. It’s all being cleaned up.
There’s concern not only from oil but the millions of gallons of raw sewage and other chemicals that may have leaked during the flood. That’s almost expected when there are billions of gallons of water.
CBS4 asked Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Co. that owns some of the tanks if their tanks were properly sealed.
“They have cables that run over the top of them that anchor them to the ground. In the case of these batteries, what happened is either debris coming by or the twisting of the tank fractured the manifold, which is like a pipe that comes out of the bottom of the tank, and that fracturing of the manifold is what caused the release. So once the volumes were released the tanks become more buoyant,” John Christiansen with Anadarko said. “The flooding was so vast and so devastating that it not only impacted the flood plain, it impacted things outside the flood plain.”
There’s a lot of damage done and that is all still being assessed to exactly determine what the impact is from the oil spills. That information will be released by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association in the coming days.
Colorado Floods: How To Help
The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.