Sharon Dunn – The Greeley Tribune
With a county as large as Weld, filled now with more than 20,000 wells all being operated by humans, there’s bound to be mishaps, screw ups and just plain mistakes — some that could even turn into a disaster — but most spills are cleaned up as quickly as the liquid falls.
Already this year, 59 spills and “releases” have been reported at well sites and oil and gas operations throughout the county, representing more than half of the spills statewide. Of course, 90 percent of the drilling throughout the state is occurring in Weld.
Easily more than 1,300 barrels of oil, 115 barrels of drilling mud, and 3,000 barrels of produced well water have hit the ground at various well sites throughout Weld since the beginning of this year, according to spill release reports to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
The most notable spill occurred west of Windsor in February, when more than 2,000 barrels of fracking water spewed for 30 hours after equipment broke down on a workover rig.
But officials say though those attention-grabbing spills do happen, they’re not indicative of business as usual.