Society

Weld County Oil Pipeline Ruptures During Colorado Flooding

| by Emily Smith

A 3-inch Anadarko oil pipeline ruptured Thursday in Weld County as a result of flooding in Colorado.

The leak was contained within a gravel pit and did not go into the water.

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When it was discovered, Anadarko immediately shut the pipeline down, much to the surprise of first responders.

“They were very impressed with how quickly all the oil companies responded and how quickly Anadarko took care of the situation,” Weld County spokesperson Jennifer Finch said.

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Finch said a collection of other oil companies followed Anadarko’s lead in shutting off their wells, which is especially helpful in a county with at least 20,000 oil and gas wells.

In a statement published Saturday, Gary Wockner of Clean Water Action said that having gas and oil operations in floodplains is exceptionally risky.

“Flood waters can topple facilities and spread oil, gas, and cancer-causing fracking chemicals across vast landscapes,” Wockner wrote, “making contamination and clean-up efforts exponentially worse and more complicated.”

Oil and gas industry crews continue to monitor wells drilled in Weld County.

Sources: The Denver Post, Greeley Tribune