Energy companies on alert in Colorado

Sept. 17, 2013 at 8:23 AM
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DENVER, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Energy company Encana Corp. said more than 30 percent of its wells in Colorado were shut in as a result of heavy flooding in the state.

U.S. President Barack Obama called Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper last weekend to get an update on the situation. At least 18 inches of rain had washed over parts of the state as of Sunday leading to flooding the National Weather Service described as "biblical."

Encana, which has headquarters in Canada, told UPI in response to e-mail questions it started shutting down some of its operations last week.

"The wells will remain shut in until water recedes," company spokesman Doug Hock said. "Currently, there are 397 wells shut in of a total of 1,241 we operate in the Denver-Julesburg Basin."

Mike King, director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, was quoted by the Platts energy reporting website as saying there were pictures on social media sites allegedly depicting spills from hydraulic fracturing sites in the state.

Encana and other energy companies affected by flooding in Colorado said they were working with emergency coordinators to assess the potential damage. State regulators were quoted by Platts as saying they couldn't confirm social media reports.

Colorado oil and natural gas production accounts for a fraction of total U.S. production, though the Energy Department said there may be "enormous deposits" locked in shale.

The National Weather Service forecasts mostly sunny skies for the rest of the week in Colorado.

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