Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spilling Oil....Again? Of Course!

What happens in the oil field does not always stay in the oil field as the video and photos of this Utah spill near the Green River show. 

It is easy to see that a blowout of such magnitude will spell disaster at wells close to homes and schools! At Frontier elementary school the plan was, and perhaps still is, to put in 67 wells with 32 oil storage tanks! How will a spill be dealt with if it were to happen there, or elsewhere inside our city? 

It is also easy to imagine that a blowout at one of the wells at Northridge high school poses a serious risk to the Sheep Draw wetland area beside it into which oil and produced water could spill! Not only the Sheep Draw is at risk! So is the Poudre River where many newly placed oil storage tanks have been placed close to the water! Here a recent photo that shows how another well pad near Weld CR 25 is inundated by water from the Poudre River because of the heavy rainfall in recent days.

Utah [and of course Colorado too!] is likely to see more spills as thousands of new oil and gas wells are approved. 

From a press release: "..The Green River spill [in Utah] is the 3rd reported spill to occur in the state within the last 3 months. In addition to the Green River spill, two spills occurred in March in another tributary watershed of the Colorado River, the Little Valley Wash of the Escalante River. Other major Utah spills include two large events on Red Butte Creek, another in Parley’s Creek and another in Willard Bay.

...The State of Utah has seen an explosion in oil and gas development over the last 10 years...The growth shows no sign of abatement as thousands of proposed new wells await approval alongside a cavalcade of tar sands and oil shale projects that threaten Utah’s watersheds and the water supply for millions of western residents.

 Headwater lands like those in Utah, which is precisely where the largest majority of the oil and gas development is occurring, provide the majority of flows for the Colorado River, the main source of water residents in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Tucson and Phoenix, among other cities. More oil spills are likely in the future, based on data sources tracking incidents over the last several years.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Oil and Gas Well Drilling: "Very Loud, Very Dirty"

This informative half hour video tour shows the industrial scope of a drilling site. The narrator says "It's very loud, very dirty" and "there are lots of ways to get hurt out here". When he's under the platform to show the Blow Out Preventer, or BOP, he says that's a dangerous place to be. 


Under the yellow link below, is a video of the Windsor frack water blowout that happened in February 2013. It spewed for 30 hours before it was finally shut off. The Windsor rig used by PDC Energy is not nearly as solid and professional looking as the one shown in the video tour, and perhaps we should be concerned about that! 

  • 80,000 gallons of frack water spilled at oil well east of Fort Collins Full story:

If we cannot stop wells from being drilled, we should at least expect that it is done with top notch equipment to make it as safe as possible. It's usually the smaller operators like Mineral Resources in Greeley that use small, mobile rigs. 

See this one at Island Grove in the summer of 2013 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What drilling sounds like

This gives a good idea of the constant droning that's heard far away from the Northridge site despite the 'sound wall'. It will continue 24/7 until the drilling is completed. As I shot video and photos, a man in a white truck came to check me out. We had a pleasant, and long conversation. He wanted me to note that no diesel power is used for the drilling.

The sight and sound from the Sheep Draw trail on the other side of the pad. According to Synergy the sound will be worse during the actual fracturing period, slated to begin in July, which will also see heavy truck traffic into and from the site.

A peek around the sound wall

Thursday, May 22, 2014

COGCC Director Implies: Accept Fracking or Move!

Take note Greeley residents! If fracking will take place near your home or your child's school, you have choices according to Matt Lepore. Two, to be exact! Accept the situation, or move away!

Lepore, director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, in a CBS Denver clip of May 13, "Community Confronts Controversial Fracking Operation In Greeley" that has since been removed, says: "The governor is listening. We're looking for reasonable solutions".

According to Lepore "the drill rigs were placed after a year of community input, all environmental concerns have been addressed, and the wells are here to stay"

CBS reporter Tom Mustin then asks him, "So what if they still have concerns about it? Is there anything they can do about it?"
Lepore shrugs and responds with "You know, they have choices"

In closing, Tom Mustin says that "Oil and Gas executives have approved another 67 oil wells to be dug here in Greeley; several are near a local school"


Community Confronts Controversial Fracking Operation In Greeley -  May 13, 2014 1:20 PM

What Will it Take to Stop the Drilling inside Towns?

Imagine the impact it would have if we all would commit to speak out publicly, even just once, against the practice of oil and gas drilling near homes and schools, and in flood plains too! The short video below features Wes Wilson and Phil Doe who felt compelled to come to Greeley last year, to address the city council and implore them to deny drilling near homes, schools, and the Sheep Draw stream. 

"People are going to have to get some courage, get some bravery, and give up some of their time and speak out about this because our leaders aren't compelled to act." ~ Broomfield mom