Floods shut nearly 1,900 US wells

Statoil platform18 September 2013, News Wires – Almost 1,900 wells in northeastern Colorado had been shut in Tuesday as operators worked to determine the impacts of deadly flooding on oil and gas installations chiefly in the shale-rich Denver-Julesberg basin.

The Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) provided the count in an update to press Tuesday afternoon, adding that more than 600 workers were engaged in air and ground surveillance checking out the conditions of wells and completing repairs.

US independent Anadarko said it had shut in 670 operated wells out approximately 5800, 250 of 2535 tank batteries and 20 of 3200 miles of pipeline. Four of 13 operated rigs have also stopped working due to road access.

“Currently, processing and compression has not been impacted, and the majority of completions crews are working; though, future work will be delayed until road repairs and conditions allow for equipment transport,” Anadarko said.

Canada’s Encana said about 300 wells remained shut in after 99 were restored to service, according to a company spokesman.

“Our maintenance and production teams are working together daily to prioritise and update our plans to repair and mitigate effects from the storm,” the company said.

“We still have not found any spills of any reportable quantity, but cannot not rule out future discoveries until we get to everything.”

By Tuesday at least eight people in Colorado were confirmed dead in devastating flooding triggered by heavy rains that inundated homes and businesses, wiped out highways and bridges and stranded residents in mountain towns.

In a Twitter exchange with stakeholders, COGA chief executive Tisha Schuller said there were no known “major” releases and hydraulic fracturing operations were taking place at the time of the floods.

The organisation was confronted with plenty of questions from environmentalists and others about contamination in and around the drilling sites.

Photos from activists and wire reports showed overturned tanks, submerged wellheads and scattered equipment.

Operators reported “no major oil and gas incidents,” Schuller wrote. “All minor incidents (were) quickly addressed and reported. Reports of massive contamination are false.”

Some will be able to restart in short order while others will take months as road access is still cut off, Schuller added.

Companies also began to pitch in for relief efforts, including a $500,000 contribution from Anadarko and a $200,000 commitment from ConocoPhillips.

– Upstream

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