WPX spills 50 barrels of produced water south of Silt | PostIndependent.com

WPX spills 50 barrels of produced water south of Silt

SILT — A leaking valve in a network of pipelines on July 2 spilled approximately 50 barrels — about 2,100 gallons — of produced water onto a field about two miles south of the Colorado River between Silt and New Castle, according to documents on file with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

The spill occurred on non-irrigated pasture land, known as the Kokopelli Field in the Garfield Creek region, and happened when the company was transferring produced water from one storage facility to another, according to a report filed on the COGCC website by environmental investigator Chris Canfield of Rifle.

Although most of the liquid soaked into the dry soil, according to the report, some ended up running into a bar ditch along an access road and from there into a diversion ditch and a stock pond.

Although approximately 2,100 gallons was spilled, according to the report, “Due to very dry soil conditions a majority of the fluids infiltrated into the underlying soil.”

As a consequence, Canfield reported, only about one barrel, or 42 gallons, was recovered by WPX.

Canfield listed “equipment failure” as the cause of the spill.

An attempt by the Post Independent to contact Susan Alvillar, spokesperson for WPX, was not successful.

But according to the online report, the company has repaired the “isolation valve” that failed, and has begun replacing the parts in the rest of the Kokopelli Field that were similar to the part that failed.

According to Canfield’s report, the company notified the COGCC verbally on the day the spill was discovered, and reported the incident to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment the next day, July 3.

The company also notified the town of Silt water department, and the town’s water intake on the Colorado River was inspected, although the company reportedly did not believe any of the contaminated water made it to a creek or to the Colorado River.


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