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.
- Video report: Rain drives oil from leak to river.
- Slide show: Images of Ruby Red Blowout
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.