Recent oil and gas spills being contained near Parachute |

Recent oil and gas spills being contained near Parachute

A natural gas pipeline break near Parachute Creek reported earlier this month.
COGCC photo

Residents living near Parachute may have seen a temporary road closure of Garfield County Road 215 earlier this month after a 16-inch natural gas gathering pipeline ruptured near Parachute Creek on Jan. 18.

The pipeline, operated by Bargath LLC, released anywhere from one to five barrels of produced water, based on the surface spray impact, according to incident reports recently released by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

The root cause has yet to be determined, according to the initial field inspection.

On Jan. 18, the gathering line ruptured, creating a large hole in the area of an irrigation ditch, according to an email message from Annette Garrigues, environmental specialist for Williams. The rupture caused fluids to be sprayed across an agricultural field and across County Road 215.

According to the email, the rupture caused some surface contamination to flow towards Parachute Creek, and booms were deployed in the creek to keep the fluids from reaching the surface water.

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COGCC Western Colorado Environmental Supervisor Alex Fischer said that, based on the surface spray impact, the spill released approximately five barrels of produced water and condensate, according to an email also sent on Jan. 18.

The line, buried about six feet in the ground, sprayed an approximate 400-by-200-foot surface area, according to the report. Parachute Creek is located approximately 500 to 600 feet west of the release area.

Previous incident at Caerus site

Four days earlier, on Jan. 14, energy company Caerus received a call from operator Summit Midstream that “a significant amount of water” had been released from a produced water gathering pipeline, also in the Parachute area.

According to the initial spill report, a section of 3/8-inch tubing connecting the pipeline to a transducer failed at the point of connection.

In notifications sent to the Water Quality Control Division, the COGCC said Caerus estimates that 1,000 to 3,000 barrels of produced water may have been released. A nearby gravel pit, known as Una Pit, is thought to have been impacted.

Inspections of the site have been conducted by the COGCC and Colorado Department Public Health and Environment.

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