Colorado reviews energy impact from floods

Sept. 26, 2013 at 8:10 AM

DENVER, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Much of Colorado's oil and natural gas production facilities remain closed because of flooding though environmental damage should be minimal, officials said.

Anadarko Petroleum reported an oil release from its operations in Colorado this week. The region's oil and natural gas sector was affected when more than a foot of rain fell on parts of the state earlier this month.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said Monday it was tracking eight "notable" releases of oil from sites affected by heavy flooding. The regulator said it's been able to confirm releases totaling 641 barrels of oil.

Tisha Schuller, chief executive officer of industry trade group Colorado Oil and Gas Association, told WCAI-FM, Cape Cod, a Massachusetts affiliate for National Public Radio, "about 14 percent" of the state's oil production was knocked offline by the flooding.

Schuller and the COGCC said the environmental impact from the flooding was expected to be minimal. The state regulator said most the confirmed spills were considered minor.

Gary Wockner, director of the environmental group Clean Water Action, was quoted as saying the "silver lining" in Colorado was that regulators can "move forward and create much better regulations that would protect the public, and the environment, and of course our water source as we move forward."

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