Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Colorado Oil and Gas Association Statement Not Correct, Again [FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE]

For Immediate Release
February 29, 2012
Sierra Club Poudre Canyon Group and Clean Water Action
Contacts: Shane Davis, 509-570-4422; Gary Wockner, 970-218-8310

Colorado Oil and Gas Association Statement Not Correct, Again

Contamination of Laramie-Fox Hills Aquifer and Residential Water Well Occurred in 2009
Fort Collins, CO -- In the February 28, 2012 online version of the Denver Post, the President of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association is quoted as making this statement:

Colorado's rules include provisions addressing "cementing and casing of wells," Schuller said. And since 2009 "there has not been a drilling or hydraulic-fracturing incident that has affected groundwater, and there have been no incidents which have affected a family's or community's drinking water," she said.
This statement is not correct.

One such "incident" occurred on August 11, 2009 in which toulene and dissolved methane were found in a residential water well in Weld County that included contamination of the Fox-Hills Aquifer. The homeowner filed a complaint ("gas bubbles were present in his water"). The COGCC tested the water and found the contaminants. The COGCC required a nearby gas well to be tested and concluded there was a hole in the casing. The gas well was then shut down. The operator (Eddy Oil) was fined $46,200 and required to remediate the property owner's impacts. The extent of the contamination to the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer is unclear at this time as is any effort to decontaminate the aquifer.

Here is the "NOAV" Report for the incident:

Here is the Spill/Release Report ("Form 19, 6/99"):

Here is the "Administrative Order By Consent 1V-349" in which it states (

16. Based on the above facts, COGCC Staff contend that a hole in the production casing in the Well resulted in a significant waste of oil and gas resources and a significant adverse impact on public health, safety or welfare or the environment as it pertains to Rule 324A.a. COGCC Staff further contend that Eddy Oil’s failure to maintain a casing program to prevent the migration of produced gas from Codell Formation in the Well to the Laramie-Fox Hills Aquifer resulted in the degradation and contamination of ground water. (page 3)

"COGA's statement in the Denver Post is not correct," said Shane Davis of the Sierra Club. "Groundwater and aquifer contamination have occurred in a residential water well since 2009."

Further, the Sierra Club and Clean Water Action point out that "since 2009," Spill/Release Reports sent to the COGCC by drilling operators in Weld County show that 46.3% of the 452 spills/releases contaminated groundwater and 2.2% of 452 spills/releases contaminated surface water. (Table here:

"Groundwater and surface water are being contaminated by oil and gas production activities," said Gary Wockner of Clean Water Action.

The Sierra Club, Poudre Canyon Group and Clean Water Action continue to analyze the data from Weld County, Colorado.



  1. maybe when she says "since 2009" she means after 2009. I thought there had been gw contimination in 2010 and 2011. Why not use those as examples.

  2. Hi Fred,

    It was actually 2008 that Tisha Schuller mentioned. 2008 is when the COGCC updated it's rules.

    That's how we view it as do the authors of the data.

    ReplyDelete is a medium for concerned citizens to express their opinions in regards to 'Fracking.' We are Representatives of Democracy. We are Fractivists. We are you.