|September 18, 2013 8:36 PM

Oil spills now almost 19,000 gallons

Map of Milliken. Courtesy of Google Maps.

Map of Milliken. Courtesy of Google Maps.

State regulators late Wednesday reported a damaged Anadarko Petroleum oil tank has spilled more than 5,000 gallons of oil into the South Platte River south of the Town of Milliken. It’s the first report of a substantial oil spill stemming from massive flooding that swept through Colorado beginning Wednesday of last week.

“This is one of the areas seriously impacted by the flood,” Colorado Department of Natural Resources spokesman Todd Hartman said in an email release. “Anadarko is responding and has absorbent booms in the water. The COGCC [Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission] responded this afternoon and will, along with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), continue to monitor the cleanup work.”

The Anadarko spill was reportedly 125 barrels – which is 5,250 gallons. It occurred north of the confluence of the St. Vrain and South Platte rivers, near Milliken in Larimer County.

The area north of Denver sustained heavy flooding. There are more than 20,000 active oil and gas wells in Weld County to the northeast, and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association reported Tuesday that 1,900 of them have been “shut in” and are no longer producing oil and gas in the wake of the flooding.

Hartman on Wednesday could not immediately confirm separate reports of two natural gas releases involving flood-related problems with Noble Energy wellheads. State health department spokesman Mark Salley said on Wednesday he had not heard of any other reports of oil and gas spills as a result of the flooding.

UPDATE: On Thursday, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission announced nine additional spills — one of them a significant 323 barrels from a tank farm on the St. Vrain River in Firestone. That brings the amount spilled from the 10 sites to nearly 19,000 gallons. According to the COGCC, the remaining eight spills appear to be minor.

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