DENVER (AP) — Another oil spill due to flooding has been found in northern Colorado, bringing the total amount of oil released in and near the South Platte River to about 43,000 gallons, state regulators said Wednesday.
The latest spill, totaling 1,176 gallons, was found at a PDC Energy Inc. site about a half mile east of Greeley. It's the 15th found by inspectors since they started checking drilling operations two weeks ago.
The cumulative amount of spills detected so far is about the amount held by 3 1/2 storage tanks.
About 20 percent of the flooded wells in the Wattenberg Field have not yet been inspected, so more spills could still be found.
Officials at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission originally expected the work to take up to 90 days, given the difficulty accessing sites because of damaged roads and flooding, spokesman Todd Hartman said.
The commission also said about 18,060 gallons of wastewater containing residual amounts of oil and gas was spilled in the flooding. So-called produced water is stored in tanks at wells for disposal or recycling.
Meanwhile, people are being warned to stay away from flood-damaged oil and gas production equipment.
Commission officials said the equipment and tanks in the area could pose a risk because they may still be pressurized and contain flammable liquids. The equipment may be unstable and shift, fall or roll.
People who see tanks or other equipment that has moved from an oil or gas location are asked to contact the commission to report the location of equipment and tanks that are not being repaired or replaced by the operators.