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    Colorado Floods Update: Oil & Gas Response
   
   

Colorado Floods Update: Oil & Gas Response


  From emergency response plans and preparations, to mobilization and recovery efforts.

To participate in our services and equipment coordination for floods response and recovery efforts, or to match Noble Energy’s 500 Year Flood $500K Challenge Grant contact give@coga.org




Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 7:00AM




Following the Colorado flood, the oil and gas industry immediately responded to heavily impacted communities by providing boots on the ground and much needed volunteer services. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association is proud to report the collaborative efforts of energy companies across the state who helped ensure quick relief to our neighbors and local governments. Though surely not comprehensive, the information below outlines the efforts of the oil and gas industry, including those of Anadarko, Halliburton, Heat Waves Hot Oil Service, K.P. Kauffman Company, Liberty Oilfield Service, Mineral Resources, Noble Energy, Petroleum Field Services, and RETTEW Associates.
 

Heavy Equipment Debris Removal Operations

  • Neighborhood road clean up: Hygiene
  • Assisted Convoy of Hope with resident debris clean up: Loveland
  • Neighborhood street clean up, five days: Boulder
  • Debris clean-up in coordination with the City of Evans
  • Assisted homeowners with moving flood damaged possessions, hauling out flood debris and mud, ripping down damaged drywall: Lyons and Longmont
     

Infrastructure Assistance

  • Reinforced a river bank to protect a housing community: Dacono
  • Assembled and provided over 200 portable toilets: Evans
  • Fixed a fence to repair cattle enclosure & replaced a family's driveway
  • Assisted in hauling 15,000 tons of riprap: Weld County
  • Provided road base: Greeley
     

Additional Volunteer Services

  • Facilitated flights for aerial views and to assess impact for elected and community leaders
  • Greeley Recreation Center
  • Sorted Red Cross donations: Loveland
  • Weld County Food Bank, including
  • 54 volunteers organized and distributed 57,000 pounds of food
  • 10 volunteers to distribute 13 pallets of flood relief boxes, ie 585 boxes (1 box feeds a family of four for 4-5 days)
  • Red Cross Meal Service for five days: Greeley and Evans
  • Staffed Red Cross sites to distribute clean-up equipment: Evans, Milliken, Greeley, Longmont, and Loveland
  • Red Cross Telethon, raising over $1M raised for Red Cross and local food banks
     

Food, Goods, and Housing Donations

  • Delivered 67 palettes of water to two evacuation sites: Firestone
  • Delivered two trucks full of food, water, and Gatorade: Kersey
  • Provided over 40 hotel rooms to homeless families
  • Donated Walmart gift cards for 300 families: Evans and Milliken
  • Sent a semi-truck full of food from Vernal to the Weld County Food Bank
  • Organized internal food drives for food banks and impacted employees
  • Delivered a tractor-trailer load of bottled water for emergency personnel and U.S. National Guard teams: Boulder emergency operations headquarters
  • Delivered 3 tractor-trailer loads of water: Firestone and Fredrick
  • Supplied a pallet of bottled water to a shelter: Evans
  • Served nearly 600 barbecue lunch and dinners to evacuees, emergency responders, and U.S. National Guard teams: Milliken
  • Provided a tractor-trailer load of bottled water where local shelters had received evacuees from both Boulder and Larimer counties: Longmont
  • Provided support to residents including, seven pallets of water, diapers, cots, baby formula, non-perishable food, personal hygiene products: Milliken
  • Fed all Convoy of Hope volunteers and impacted neighborhood residents for two days: Longmont



Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 12:15PM


The COGCC continues its assessment of the flood-impacted area. The agency’s estimate of assessed area remains at approximately 80 percent. The number of well sites evaluated by COGCC inspectors is 1,355.

In their most recent update, the COGCC states: "The agency continues to refine and update its numbers as it learns more through new information from inspectors and operators. The agency is tracking 13 notable releases of oil totaling 43,134 gallons. The agency is also tracking 17 releases of produced water, totaling 26,385 gallons. The reduction in notable releases from 15 (in our October 2 update) to 13 is the result of updated information from two locations with damaged facilities where COGCC is continuing its investigation but has not confirmed notable releases.

For context, the volume of oil released is comparable to more than three, standard 300-barrel storage tanks. The amount of produced water released is more than two of such tanks."




Tuesday, October 8, 2014 - 3:00PM


The  Department of Public Health and Environment press has released flood water testing results.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 8, 2013

Water sampling of flood-affected rivers and streams shows no pollutants associated with oil and gas spills

DENVER—Results of water sampling conducted Sept. 26 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment show no evidence of pollutants from oil and gas spills in rivers and streams affected by flooding. The department collected samples at 29 sites in eight different rivers affected by the flood. (See attached maps.)

The sample results show high levels of E. coli in some areas of the South Platte Basin. The highest concentrations of E. coli were sampled in the Boulder Creek and Big Thompson River watersheds.

Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at the department, said, “Although much attention was focused on spills from oil and gas operations, it is reassuring the sampling shows no evidence of oil and gas pollutants. There were elevated E. coli levels, as we expected, in some locations.”

E. coli indicates human and animal bacteria from untreated sewage that can make people sick. However, outbreaks of communicable diseases or illnesses after floods seldom are seen and have not been reported with the recent flooding in Colorado.

Five public drinking water systems remain on boil or bottled water advisories: Jamestown, Lyons, Mountain Meadow Water Supply, Lower Narrows Campground and Sylvan Dale Ranch.

In addition to testing water samples for pollutants associated with oil and gas spills and bacteria, the department also tested for metals that could have been released from mining areas. An analysis of these samples is ongoing. The department will release the results once the analysis is completed.

The department will conduct additional sampling to determine any changes in pollutant levels.

The department’s Flood Resources web page provides helpful information for people recovering from the flood.




Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 2:15PM


COGCC has posted a new update of their assessment of oil and gas-related impacts from flooding. As of today, COGCC field teams have evaluated 991 wells or production facilities, and covered approximately 80 percent of the flood-impacted area.

They are tracking 15 notable releases, bringing the cumulative total of notable releases to 1,020 barrels, or 43,134 gallons. This is roughly equivalent to more than three conventionally sized 300-barrel storage tanks, which would be the same volume as about 6.5% of an Olympic sized swimming pool.

The agency is also tracking 13 produced water releases. According to COGCC: “Produced water contains small amounts of dissolved hydrocarbons, and is the water that resides in the same formation as the oil and gas and is separated at the surface and stored in tanks at the site for proper disposal or recycling." The 12 produced water releases amount to 430 barrels, or 18,060 gallons, which is roughly 2.5% of an Olympic sized swimming pool.




Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 4:00PM


COGCC has posted a new update of their assessment of oil and gas-related impacts from flooding. As of Monday morning, the agency is tracking 14 notable releases bringing the cumulative total of notable releases to 1,042 barrels, or 43,764 gallons. This is roughly equivalent to more than three conventionally sized 300-barrel storage tanks, which would be the same volume as about 6.5% of an Olympic sized swimming pool.

The agency is also tracking 12 produced water releases. According to COGCC:

“Produced water contains small amounts of dissolved hydrocarbons, and is the water that resides in the same formation as the oil and gas and is separated at the surface and stored in tanks at the site for proper disposal or recycling."

The 12 produced water releases amount to a cumulative total of 413 barrels, or 17,350 gallons – roughly 2.5% of an Olympic sized swimming pool.




Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 4:00PM


The Colorado Oil & Gas Association is proud of its partnership with the American Red Cross over the last few years, helping raise funds for their outreach programs and bring awareness around the importance of emergency preparation. The American Red Cross has five Colorado chapters, and relies on the donations of time, money, and resources from community individuals, corporate partners, and like-minded foundations.

Red Cross Services are provided thanks to the generous commitment of thousands of local volunteers who:

  • Help individuals and communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters
  • Teach lifesaving skills to tens of thousands of individuals
  • Provide transportation for the critically ill and elderly
  • Offer support to U.S. service members and their families in Colorado
     

To recover from the historic flooding, the American Red Cross is providing food, shelter, relief supplies, and comfort as people across Colorado.

Since September 11 , 2013,  the Red Cross has:

  • Opened and supported 21 shelters, provided more than 3,700 overnight stays.
  • Served more than 58,000 meals and snacks
  • Provided more than 6,600 health and mental health contacts
  • Distributed more than 14,000 recovery items
  • Registered approximately 1,600 individuals on Red Cross Safe & Well


The Colorado Red Cross blog provides updates at least once daily regarding their services. To learn more about Red Cross in Colorado, visit http://denverredcross.org/.

Below are resources for more information regarding assistance services:
Colorado 2-1-1
Help Colorado Now
Donate Boulder
Convoy of Hope




Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 10:00AM


Colorado Oil & Gas Association Championing Fundraising Campaign for Coloradans Impacted By Flood
Industry Members Donate over $1,500,000 to the Red Cross for Relief Efforts Surrounding Historic Colorado Flood

We have been urging members to donate to the American Red Cross, to aid those impacted by recent flooding across Colorado's Front Range.

“Just like me, my family, and neighbors, thousands of Coloradans have been displaced from our homes. I experienced firsthand how the Red Cross is immediately here to meet physical, emotional, and logistical needs,” said Tisha Schuller, the President and CEO of COGA. Schuller and her family were evacuated from their home in Boulder County last week and so far have been unable to return.

Schuller sent out a fundraising solicitation to all COGA's members and the oil and gas industry has responded generously, committing over $1,500,000, with fundraising efforts continuing. For full press release details, see the COGA Newsroom, and visit FUNDRAISING for an outline of pledges made so far.




Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 4:45PM


The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has reported there are currently eleven notable releases, with three additional since yesterday. On Monday, the COGCC had nine teams inspecting tanks and assessing locations for an additional 157 wells and 71 tank batteries.

According to COGCC’s report, these three locations are:

  • “A Noble location east of Kersey near Highway 34 and Highway 56 released 121 barrels;
  • A PDC location east of Greeley, near the intersection of Highway 34 and the bypass for Highway 34 released 60 barrels;
  • And a Mineral Resources location north and west of LaSalle released an unknown volume.”


With these new incidents, total spill volume is at 34,524 gallons, or 822 barrels of oil and condensate, with two of the eleven releases still being assessed for volume. To date, less than 1% of shut in wells have had any isolated incidents due to debris-filled flood waters. Industry is focused upon the safety of its employees and operations, returning shut in facilities back to production, and assisting our neighbors in getting back on their feet. Operators continue to work with state and federal regulatory agencies for clean-up and remediation, as well as local and state emergency offices.

In their statement, COGCC notes: “At the same time, the scale of the event and the environmental impacts of a broad and voluminous flow of contaminants across industries, agriculture, and wastewater treatment facilities are important to keep in mind.” For further updates, please visit the COGCC Website.




Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 2:00PM


COGCC has issued a notice to operators on a recommended start-up procedure for all shut-in wells, which they tabulated at around 1,300 yesterday.

The notice includes items such as pressure testing and documenting the integrity of equipment on-site, as well as replacing any and all that was damaged. Additionally, operators will need to check the stability of various devices, ensure all valves, casing, and tubes are not leaking, and restore the well-pad’s integrity if soils supporting it had been washed away.

Many operators have already begun the process of bringing wells back on-line and have been diligently checking their equipment throughout the last week and over the weekend. Those with unaffected sites have brought most of these facilities back to production after checking their midstream infrastructure was sound.

The Startup Protocol Notice can be viewed on the COGCC website.




Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 9:15AM


Colorado’s flooding dropped half a year’s worth of rain in a weeks-time, delivering hundreds of billions of gallons of rain over 4,500 square miles of flood affected areas. Into those waters flows is contamination from millions of gallons of raw sewage, runoff from cars stranded on roadways, oil releases, household chemicals, insecticides, and other raw chemicals.

COGCC reports there are currently 8 notable spills due to flood-related activities, totaling just short of 27,000 gallons of oil. According to the Denver Business Journal, this total is approximately the volume of 1/20th of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Steve Gunderson, director of the Water Quality Control Division, told Fort Collins' Coloradoan, “When the South Platte River, where most of the oil spills have been reported, flowed past Fort Lupton, it was pushing 67,000 gallons of water per second.”...“20,000 gallons is a drop in a bucket in that kind of stream flow.”

Of highest concern to public health officials are the miles of sewage plant pipelines that have been lost to the flooding in Estes Park, Loveland, and Evans. Ken Carlson, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado State University also told the Coloradoan: “There is without a doubt raw wastewater in the Big Thompson." As for the two dozen gallons of oil flowing out of barrels into the South Platte, Carlson said: “I’m not worried about it.”

As Mark Salley, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has said, “Many contaminants, such as raw sewage, as well as potential releases of chemicals from homes, businesses and industry, may be contained in the floodwaters."

It is advised to consult the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on the disease risks and safety precautions of raw sewage and other contaminants.




Monday, September 23, 2013 - 5:30PM


Synergy Resources, owner of the wellsite JH the Wolfson 26-6, reported below by the Denver Post, has confirmed that what appears to be oil in this picture is actually flood water and no oil or condensate spilled at this site. Synergy Resources is in the process of readjusting the equipment, and restoring the site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Reported by the Denver Post – Photo by Andy Cross)

 

This was one of their hardest hit facilities in the area.

 

Synergy Resources showing water next to tank
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Updated image courtesy of Synergy Resources showing water next to the tank)

 

Synergy Resources has confirmed that there was no release from that production tank, and is just dirty flood water.

 

Synergy Resources, showing water next to the tank with no oil leakage

(Updated image courtesy of Synergy Resources, showing water next to the tank with no oil leakage)

That specific location has finally dried enough that Synergy Resources will be able to send a crew on Tuesday to restore the tank to upright position and reclaim the location.




Monday, September 23, 2013 - 1:00PM


As of Monday morning, the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has reported a total of 8 notable oil and condensate spills, which amount to 641 barrels, or almost 27,000 gallons. As a part of that count, two oil spills were tracked over the weekend, one of 36 barrels from a Noble Energy location and another of 26 barrels from Anadarko Petroleum. There is still no reported release of chemicals or fracturing fluid additives at these locations, as these substances are not stored at production facilities.

According to COGCC’s recent update:

“The COGCC is tracking 10 additional locations with some evidence of release of oil, such as a sheen on the water, and another 33 locations where there appears to be damage to tanks or other equipment but no obvious indication of a release. COGCC continues efforts to access all of these locations, to evaluate conditions and determine extent of releases, if any. Additional rainfall today will continue to slow efforts to reach some areas.

As of this weekend, approximately 1,300 wells remain shut-in following the flood. Some sites remain inaccessible for physical inspection, while others will require repairs ranging from minor to substantial before wells on location can return to production.”

For more information, go to http://cogcc.state.co.us/announcements/COGCC2013FloodResponse.pdf
 




Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 4:30PM


According to the COGCC, the total amount of known oil releases from notable events is roughly 25,000 gallons or the equivalent of two, 300-barrel oil storage tanks. To date, there has been no reported release of chemicals or fracturing fluid additives at these locations. These chemicals are not stored at production facilities. The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), National Response Center, Weld County Local Emergency Planning Committee, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continue to monitor the cleanup work. Continual monitoring is occurring and reports of minor incidents are also made to the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) and can be found at http://cogcc.state.co.us/. For additional information, see Key Updates.




Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 10:00AM


To register to volunteer or to receive relief, please utilize the below resources. Additionally, to request volunteer manpower or heavy equipment, email info@coga.org.

 

The American Red Cross
Colorado 2-1-1
Help Colorado Now
Donate Boulder
Convoy of Hope




Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 4:30PM


Operators and COGCC personnel are in the field conducting ground surveys. According to the COGCC, they have assessed roughly 35 percent of the impacted areas. However, some areas still have high waters which make access slow and difficult.
 
According to Noble energy, on September 20 and 21, they reported a total of three isolated incidents due to the floodwaters to the appropriate regulatory agencies.

  • September 20, due to the floods from the South Platte River in Weld County, a release of produced condensate and water originated from a steel tank found lying on its side within a production facility. They have deployed booms to contain and absorb the fluids, and repair and recovery efforts are ongoing.
  • September 20, due to the floods from the Big Thompson River in Weld County, a release of  approximately 54 barrels of produced oil and 20 barrels of produced water were released from a steel tank within a production facility. They deployed a vacuum truck to collect associated fluids, and placed absorbent pads around the tank battery, and repair and recovery efforts are ongoing.
  • September 21, due the flood from the South Platte River in Weld County, a release of approximately 36 barrels of oil and 3 barrels of produced water were released from a steel tank within a production facility. A vacuum truck was deployed to collect associated fluids with repair and recovery efforts are ongoing.

 
For additional information, please see from today Noble Energy's Update and COGCC's Flood Response Announcement.




Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 10:00AM


Counties across flood areas are continuing road maintenance, bringing them back to operational. Most of these counties have provided a map of these affected roads, allowing oil and gas crews to gain additional access to their well-sites to further evaluate any damage and begin remediation if required. For a listing and mapping of local road closures and openings in Adams, Weld, Boulder, and Larimer counties, please visit these sites:

Adam’s County Map
Weld County’s Facebook
Boulder Office of Emergency Management Map
Larimer County Road Closures
Colorado Department of Transportation Closures




Friday, September 20, 2013 - 5:00PM


Cleanup efforts continue as operators bring wells back online. Currently just under 1600 wells remain shut-in as companies verify whether wells have the operational integrity to resume production. Inspection of these wells also include investigating their associated tank batteries, of which operators have reviewed thousands to check for any releases.

To date, according to the COGCC, they are tracking five notable isolated incidents of tanks and flow lines that have released 22,000 gallons of oil and condensate. Operators continue to work under the regulatory agencies for clean-up and remediation. Additional information can be found on the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission’s website at: http://cogcc.state.co.us/

According to the COGCC latest update:
“Six teams of inspectors are in the field today, with one devoted to responding to larger incidents if necessary. The agency will also continue aerial surveys. The teams have now assessed roughly 30 percent of the impacted areas. Conditions continue to make access difficult in many areas.

The COGCC’s aerial survey Thursday revealed as many as two dozen tanks overturned. Releases from these tanks have not been confirmed but are certainly a possibility. In addition we are tracking 11 locations with visible evidence of a release, such as a sheen. No estimates of product losses are available for those sites. COGCC is coordinating with operators to reach these sites as soon as practicable.

The COGCC continues to compile reports from operators on numbers of facilities impacted. The COGCC is tracking these reports and full investigations will take place when access allows. Operators will be required to remediate environmental impacts where necessary.”




Friday, September 20, 2013 - 3:00PM


Today, the COGCC is reporting new notable isolated incidents:

  • At an Anadarko location near Evans, 56 barrels of condensate or 2,352 gallons was spilled due to a cracked flow line between equipment at the site. The integrity of the tank was not compromised. Anadarko is working with the appropriate state and federal agencies to clean up the release. There was no release of chemicals or fracturing fluid additives at these locations. For MORE INFORMATION.
  • A Bayswater Exploration and Production location near Evans, had two oil tanks floated. One tank was empty prior to the flood. Upon assessment of location, 21.6 barrels of oil (905.2 gallons) and 13.4 barrels of produced water was lost from the second tank in the flood. They are working with EPA, COGCC, CDPHE, and NRC and in process in the process of cleaning up, but they are no visible oil sheens or stains. There was no release of chemicals or fracturing fluid additives at this location.
  • According to the COGCC, these four releases represent about 22,000 gallons of oil and condensate.
  • There are two other isolated incidents, one at an Anadarko site with the other a PDC Energy site. These facilities are currently being evaluated by the authorities and operators.



Friday, September 20, 2013
18,000 Gallons of Oil Spill into Colorado Flood Waters




Friday, September 20, 2013 - 10:50AM


  • Over 1500 wells are still shut-in, with hundreds of personnel inspecting and repairing affected sites. 
  • No rigs have been impacted in the flood areas.
  • No hydraulic fracturing operations were being conducted at the time of the flood, thus no hydraulic fracturing chemicals were stored on any sites impacted by flood waters.
  • To date, the COGCC is tracking 10 oil releases – two notable with the remaining eight to be minor.
  • To date, 2 notable spills totaling 18,725 gallons of oil have entered into flood waters, which companies are actively completing, or have completed remediation, of the impacted sites: 18,725 gallons represents approximately 4.75 minutes of daily production in this area.
  • Hundreds of billions of gallons of rain has fallen and flowed through 4,500 square miles of affected areas over the past several days. These waters have been contaminated with millions of gallons of raw sewage, runoff form cars stranded on roadways, household chemicals, insecticides, and other raw chemicals. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provides an informational website updating water treatment and distribution, as well as wastewater collection and treatment in the affected areas.



Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 6:30PM


We want to thank members of the public, the oil and gas industry, regulatory authorities, and media for their diligent efforts to uphold transparency and proactive communication. This has been a challenging time for everyone involved and we are appreciative of the continual effort to share updates and clear information. As new websites come online, we will share them. Below are current available resources:

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
Bill Barrett Corporation
Noble Energy, Inc.
PDC Energy
COGCC
CDPHE Resources
CDPHE Updates
Colorado OEM




Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 2:40PM


At the beginning of this week, 1976 wells were shut in, as reported to us from the major operators in the area. Today that number has dipped to 1679, and 297 wells are back in production.

From the information available at this time, no rigs have been impacted during flood operations. In addition, no hydraulic fracturing operations were being conducted at the time of the flooding. This means no fracking fluids, no chemicals associated with fracking, nor equipment were on sites at the time of the flooding.

Average production in the DJ Basin (Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Elbert, Larimer, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Washington, and Weld counties) over the first 5 months of 2013 totaled 4.03 million barrels of oil per month. This equates to 134,333 barrels per day of production.

As of noon today, the COGCC released a statement saying they are tracking 10 oil releases. Two of those are notable; the remaining eight appear to be minor. One of those notable releases is the 125 barrels from an Anadarko storage tank south of Milliken. The second is an Anadarko storage tank that has released 323 barrels (13,566 gallons), which occurred north of Firestone on the St. Vrain River.

In the context of this historic event, COGCC states, "These spills are not an unexpected part of many other sources of contamination associated with the flood. Those include very large volumes (millions of gallons) of raw, municipal sewage and other hazards associated with households, agriculture, business and industry.” To read their full statement, visit cogcc.state.co.us/announcements/COGCC2013FloodResponse.pdf




Thursday - 9/19/13 - 11:20AM


As flood waters recede and facilities become safely accessible, oil and gas operators and state and federal regulators are in the process of inspecting facilities affected by the flooding. On September 18, two releases were identified and immediately reported to the appropriate regulatory bodies according to regulations. There was no release of chemicals or fracturing fluid additives at these locations. These chemicals are not stored at production facilities.

 

As required, these releases were immediately reported to the National Response Center, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), and Weld County Local Emergency Planning Committee. Containment and clean-up efforts were immediately initiated.

 

The unprecedented flooding caused significant debris movement, which led to the shifting of tanks and liquid flow lines. Flow lines are utilized to transfer products between equipment at the facility. During clean-up efforts condensate was removed from the tanks along with water and condensate mix from around the location. Appropriate clean-up efforts were initiated immediately with onsite oversight from the EPA and COGCC. According to the EPA, the release was 323 barrels (roughly 13,500 gallons) along the St. Vrain River near Platteville.




Wednesday - 9/18/13 - 9:00PM


Two tank batteries damaged by flood waters, with an estimated 125 barrels (5,250 gallons) of light-oil releases that occurred in flood waters associated with the South Platte River and the St. Vrain River, is currently being remediated. The location is south of Milliken and north of the confluence of the St. Vrain River and the South Platte. This is one of the areas seriously impacted by the flood. Teams are currently responding and there are absorbent booms in the water. The COGCC responded this afternoon and will, along with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, National Response Center, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, continue to monitor the cleanup work. We will provide more information about this release when we have it. This is the only known significant oil and gas related release due to the floods. For additional information, please see Anadarko's statement




Wednesday - 9/18/13 - 6:30PM
Below is a brief summary of Remote Monitoring

Oil and gas operators utilize a multitude of technologies to develop and maintain oil and gas facilities to ensure operations have a robust set of safety measures.  While operators have field personnel on the ground, one such critical technology that can be deployed is the implementation of remote monitoring devices that operate via radio waves, and other electrical means, which many are powered by solar panels. Through this technology, operators can monitor sites on a well-by-well basis and receive live streams of casing pressures, flowline pressures, compressors, tank volumes, and other equipment on a well-site that ensure the integrity of the well.  Pressure and volume thresholds are set and sent to mobile devices of field workers to alert them of if any action is required, and allows operators to check on the status of wells if these wells have the remote capability.   
 
Such alerts are crucial in mobilizing personnel the event of natural disasters such as floods.  Other on-site systems allow the operator to remotely shut-in the well which ceases production and stops the rise of tank volumes.  This level of automation and efficiency is one of the reasons why oil and gas operators were able to respond in an expedited manner which meant a minimization of incidents.




Wednesday - 9/18/13 - 2:30PM
Below is a brief summary of current road closures and relief agency contacts to date.

As flood waters begin to recede, road maintenance crews are working to bring local roads back to operational. This also allows oil and gas crews to gain additional access to their well-sites to further evaluate any damage, and begin remediation if required. For a listing of local road closures and openings in Adams, Weld, Boulder, and Larimer counties, please visit these sites.

Adams County's Facebook
Weld County’s Facebook
Boulder Office of Emergency Management
Larimer County Road Closures

While road repair crews are hastily bringing new routes back online, individuals and families affected by flood waters are being assisted by volunteer groups for help in their recovery. Companies and other individuals are donating their time, equipment, and supplies to assist communities in the wake of this disaster. These portals offer advice, and updates on needed materials and aid in flooded regions and shelters.

Boulder County Flood Recovery Hub
State of Colorado: Help Colorado Now
American Red Cross Colorado Blog




Wednesday - 9/18/13 - 11:30AM
Below is a brief summary of the typical proactive flood response plans which oil and gas operators deploy

These plans may vary slightly by operator.
 
A typical step by step proactive flood response plan in which operators train for and deploy when such an event occurs:

 

  1. Operators receive weather reports and consult national reports to prepare well sites in accounting for and evacuating personnel and securing onsite equipment. 


  2. Based on these reports and associated water levels, operators will shut-in producing wells when water levels threaten on-site equipment that could malfunction when production is occurring. Also, wells in proximity to known flood areas are shut-in as a precautionary measure. Wells can be shut-in remotely or on location, utilizing by a series of hydraulically controlled valves and gauges that completely cuts off production to the surface, thus isolating any contents within the well-bore, which is cased in multiple layers of cement and steel and designed to withstand high pressures.


  3. Operators may also shutdown midstream facilities and gathering lines to these facilities to prevent potential releases from breaches when roads are washed out.


  4. Typically, a command response center is set up with a central team of people to coordinate teams of workers in the field to secure locations, assess damage, and manually shut-in wells if remote automation is not possible. 


  5. As flood waters are in effect, the command response center will actively assign crews to various sites for monitoring, assessing, and reporting to the COGCC, CDPHE, and EPA if there are any incidents, followed by remediation if necessary. An inventory checklist of on-site equipment will be performed, followed by a more in-depth inspection of well-site conditions. Crews will inspect berms, sedimentation, drainage systems, and other integrity measures of sites, and will repair them if roads and infrastructure around the site are structurally sound enough to bring in the necessary equipment. 


  6. In special circumstances, companies will employ air support via helicopters and boats to help monitor and report potential incidents at affected well-sites. When crews are deployed, buddy systems are utilized and 4x4 off-road vehicles are used to avoid the danger of road damage sinks. 


  7. Oil and gas operators place the highest value on safety with their employees dispatched for these activities. Oftentimes debris and water contaminated by sewage and other wastewater not associated with oil and gas development create a barrier to entry for closer inspection.



Tuesday- 9/17/13 - 6:30PM
Fact Checking Flooding Claims

9 News Fracking Flood Response




Tuesday - 9/17/13 - 2:00PM
Currently there are nearly 1900 wells shut-in in the affected areas.

When the flooding commenced on Wednesday, operators began to shut-in the majority of their impacted locations. Currently there are nearly 1900 wells shut-in in the affected areas. A shut-in well is one that that has had any flow of oil or gas stopped, and it is no longer producing. There are over 600 personnel and crew inspecting operations, conducting aerial and ground surveillance, identifying and determining locations of possible impairments, and repairing any facilities to mitigate the effects from the storm.




Tuesday - 9/17/13 - 7:00AM
What are the oil & gas industry’s response plans and efforts throughout the Colorado flood?

If you have questions about industry’s role in the flood response, join the conversation online with COGA President & CEO, Tisha Schuller. She will be hosting a live Q&A Twitter session from 2 – 3PM, Tuesday, September 17, 2013, @TishaSchuller and #COGAResponds. Also follow industry updates from COGA at @ColoradoOilGas on Twitter and ColoradoOilandGas on Facebook.




Monday, 9/16/13 - 8:00PM
Match Noble Energy's 500 Year Flood $500K Challenge Grant Today!

$500 K Challenge - Colorado Oil & Gas Industry Responds




Monday, 9/16/13 - 5:00PM
Current Reports from Operators

COGA currently has reports from operators that over a thousand wells have been shut-in, stopping oil and gas production remotely and isolating any further production from reaching the surface. This measure prevents further risk of release from flood related incidents.

 

Operations currently range from unaffected to sitting in standing water, to located in rushing water. Those that are no longer threatened by water levels are currently being assessed via operational and environmental health and safety crews to determine if there has been contamination.

 

Companies from the smallest to the largest are engaged in around-the-clock assessment, prevention, monitoring, and response. More specifically, these types of activities performed include continuous monitoring of operations, shutting in wells, evaluating midstream facilities, conducting environmental checklists, aerial surveys, responding to calls, and mitigation of potential hazards as they are identified. Incident command centers have been employed by various operators and companies are coordinating with the National Response Center, EPA, CDPHE, and COGCC. Additionally, companies are and will continue to provide COGCC with regular updates.




Monday, 9/16/13 - 4:00PM
COGA on Fracking, Water Contamination Concerns

9 News and Tisha Schuller on Colorado Flood Response to Fracking Water Contamination




Monday - 9/16/13 - 1:00Pm
RED CROSS INFORMATION UPDATE: Western Flooding

Beginning around September 11, more than half a year’s worth of rain fell in a three day period causing flooding in several counties in Central and Northern Colorado. The rainfall in the Boulder area alone was enough to qualify the storm as a 1 in a 1,000 year event.

In Colorado, the threat for flash flooding has significantly diminished across northeast Colorado; however, isolated to scattered thunderstorms are still possible today across the region, mainly during the afternoon and early evening hours.

Due to the historic flooding in Colorado, thousands of evacuations have occurred statewide. Nearly 3,000 residences are still without power and approximately 3,500 others without natural gas, and boil water orders are still in effect for several counties. Dozens of roads remain closed, and the government estimates that as many as 18,000 homes are affected. Access to some communities remains difficult due to flood waters and damaged roads.

American Red Cross Response

The American Red Cross is supporting rescue operations in Colorado by providing food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort to thousands of people forced from their homes by devastating flash flooding. As flooded areas begin to re-open, the Red Cross will be there to assess the damage, distribute clean up supplies, and support a recovery effort that will take weeks and months.

The Red Cross is working closely with local emergency management officials, the Colorado National Guard, and community organizations to ensure people get the help they need. More than 250 trained Red Cross disaster workers are deployed to Colorado, along with more than 20 emergency response vehicles and six trucks of relief supplies. Working with the Southern Baptist Convention, the Red Cross has served more than 7,100 meals and snacks.

Isolated/Evacuated Communities Map
SOURCE: NRCC Red Cross Liaison
 

Isolated/Evacuated Communities Map

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Preliminary Colorado Flooding Impact and Exposure Analysis Map
SOURCE: FEMA Daily Ops Report

 

Preliminary Colorado Flooding Impact
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Monday, 9/16/13 - 12:00PM
The flooding in Colorado is of Historic Proportions

The flooding in Colorado is of historic proportions and we want to keep the public abreast regarding the oil and gas industry's response. COGA has established a “Colorado Floods Update: Oil & Gas Response” website. This website will provide information regarding oil and gas operations, ways for people to donate to Red Cross, and assist in the relief efforts. The site will be updated as information becomes available. COGA will also be sending out these updates via email and social media directing people to the site.




Tuesday - 9/17/13 - 7:00AM
What are the oil & gas industry’s response plans and efforts throughout the Colorado flood?

If you have questions about industry’s role in the flood response, join the conversation online with COGA President & CEO, Tisha Schuller. She will be hosting a live Q&A Twitter session from 2 – 3PM, Tuesday, September 17, 2013, @TishaSchuller and #COGAResponds. Also follow industry updates from COGA at @ColoradoOilGas on Twitter and ColoradoOilandGas on Facebook.



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