Well Blowout Sprays Crude Oil 850 Feet from Well over Cropland

July 22, 2013 –

Last week, crude oil sprayed from the Bosworth-Bailey 16-31 well onto a farmer’s land when a “plunger lubricator” cap failed, blowing a mist of oil in the wind up to 850 feet away.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan reported that “the nearest buildings were about 350 feet away from the well and the nearest wetlands and surface water were about 700 feet.”  The well is located about 10 miles east of Fort Collins.

This is only one of nearly two-dozen such spills and releases reported to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission since July 1st.

A spill reported by operator Noble Energy on July 19 impacted groundwater in Weld County. The area and extent of the spill was listed as “to be determined.” On July 12, operator WPX Energy (the same company involved in the pipeline spill by Parachute Creek)  reported a spill of about 50 barrels of produced fracking water that impacted surface water.

Equipment failure and accidents happen all of the time, and that’s why we need to keep drilling rigs away from sensitive areas, like riparian zones, water bodies, irrigation systems, cropland and ranches, and homes and schools.

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