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Press Releases



Industry Operational Response to the Colorado Floods

September 16, 2013


Statement by Tisha Schuller, President & CEO, Colorado Oil & Gas Association, before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regarding industry operational response to the Colorado floods.

Denver, CO – Today, Tisha Schuller, President and CEO, Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) testified before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) regarding the oil and gas industry operational response to the devastating floods.

“The flooding in Colorado is of historic proportions and the state is rightly focused on search and rescue efforts for those affected. While the rains have subsided in many areas of the state, some of the most heavily impacted areas are still under a flash flood warning until the end of the day.

COGA has reached out to all member operators, big and small, and are receiving good updates on the efforts to prevent, monitor, assess, and respond to any field needs. Companies are coordinating with the National Response Center, EPA, CDPHE, and COGCC. Additionally, companies have confirmed to me that they are and will provide COGCC with regular updates.

Our companies plan and practice for all kinds of disasters. While a 500 year flood is extreme, I am proud of the effort being made by companies of all sizes. As flooding began on Wednesday night, wells were shut in and incident command centers were opened. While the majority of operators have little to no impact to their well sites, those who have been affected are actively monitoring and working with the COGCC and emergency responders.

The most significantly impacted portion of the state is in the Front Range’s DJ basin. There have not been any reports of impacted sites in other parts of the state.

We have operations ranging from unaffected to sitting in standing water, to located in rushing water. Companies from the smallest to the largest operators are engaged in around-the-clock assessment, prevention, monitoring and response. All impacted wells have been shut-in, which mean the well has been closed off or shut and is not producing any oil and gas product of any kind.

As water levels recede, operators are assessing any damage and addressing it in a timely manner. The types of activities include continuous monitoring of operations, shutting in wells, evaluating midstream facilities, conducting environmental checklists, aerial surveys, and responding to calls and mitigation of potential hazards as they are identified.

We have seen the social media frenzy regarding pictures of oil and gas facilities “under water.” While the pictures seem extraordinary, there is no data or specifics provided. In order to responsibly provide information, we ask that individuals or officials, who have photos, please share these, with specific locations, so we can provide an operational status of that location. Also, if the there are other concerns or information about a specific oil and gas location, please provide as much detail as possible so we can respond. Please send any photos, with specific locations or concerns to info@coga.org.

In cases where personnel could be freed up, they have been made available to communities for flood rescue and relief efforts. Since Thursday we have been pairing personnel with equipment such as pumps, trucks, and earth moving equipment with affected communities. All Coloradoans have been impacted by these devastating floods. We join our Colorado neighbors in grief-turned-to-action as we all pull together to address this significant event.”

     
   
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