Colorado Flooding Triggers Oil Spills, Shutdowns

A toppled oil tank in Weld County near Milliken on Sept. 19, 2013 (Credit: KCNC)
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Colorado's flooding has shut down hundreds of natural gas and oil wells in the state's top petroleum patch and triggered at least two significant spills.

Federal regulators said Thursday that Anadarko Petroleum reported the release of 323 barrels from an oil and gas tank farm along the St. Vrain River near Platteville. That's equivalent to 13,566 gallons.

State authorities said a second Anadarko tank spilled an estimated 5,000 gallons of oil into the South Platte River.

In both cases, the oil apparently was swept away by floodwaters and attempts to contain it with booms failed.

It's unclear when the spills occurred. They were reported Wednesday, six days after flooding started.

One analyst says images of flooded wellheads could increase public pressure to impose restrictions on drilling techniques such as fracking.



 
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