Encana subsidy under fire for pipeline leak in Garfield County, Colorado
Cleanup work continues following a condensate leak from a pipeline operated by Encana subsidiary, Hunter Ridge Energy Services LLC, in the North Parachute Mountain area north of Parachute. The company reported that condensate from the pipeline traveled underground about 4,200 feet before flowing to the surface of a spring more than a mile north to a stock pond. The contamination was discovered June 14 during a routine sampling of the spring. Hunter identified the pipeline as the source about four hours later and shut in a well feeding the pipeline. Hunter notified authorities and affected landowners within hours of discovering the leak, deployed absorbent booms below the seep and began skimming and collecting oil from the stock pond.
Hunter Ridge estimated in early spill reports that anywhere from 5 to 100 barrels, or 210 to 4,200 gallons, of condensate was released. Hunter Ridge says tests have indicated the leak didn’t harm private water wells or deep groundwater, and there’s no evidence that livestock or wildlife died from the spill or crops were damaged.
Gas commission staff are asking the agency commission to find that Hunter Ridge violated requirements to ensure pipes are in good mechanical condition and regularly inspected; to protect water from environmental impacts from oil and gas waste; to follow measures applying to proper installation, testing and operation of flowlines from oil and gas facilities; and to take reasonable measures to prevent leaks and corrosion.
Hunter Ridge challenged the alleged violations in its written response. It says the leak is believed to have resulted from isolated pitting resulting from bacteria, the pipeline was generally in good condition otherwise, and factors such as its design and operating pressure weren’t factors in the leak.
Sources: The Daily Progress, The Daily Sentinal