Follow-Up: Response to Methane Release at State 30-16
As was reported in a notification on Sept. 2
, oil and gas operator Kerr McGee notified local and state entities (COGCC) of a release at the State 30-16 well site, outside Town of Erie limits near WCR 10 and WCR 5 (located north of Soaring Heights PK-8 and Erie High School).
After consultation with David Frank, the Town of Erie Energy & Environmental Specialist, Kerr McGee installed a continuous air sampling station near the State 30-16 well on Sept. 10, 2021. The air sampling station, which is operated by Montrose Air Quality Services, will collect samples continuously (pulls data every second and translates into 15-minute averages) and will remain deployed as warranted.
Additionally, Kerr McGee also deployed a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera on Sept. 10 to detect any atmospheric leakage in the area. No detections were visible at the time of installation. The Town of Erie appreciates the efforts being made as we work with Kerr McGee/Occidental and the State of Colorado to ensure the continued health and safety of the resident of Erie, and students and staff at Soaring Heights Elementary and Erie High School.
In a separate statement, Kerr McGee/Occidental shared:
During routine inspections associated with our plugging and abandonment process, methane was detected in an isolated, below-ground area near a retired well approximately 5 feet below the surface. No methane was detected at the surface. We notified the appropriate local and state entities and let them know that, in conjunction with our third-party consultants, we continue to believe there are no risks to the health, safety, or welfare of the community or wildlife.
We are implementing several additional safety measures:
- Installed continuous air monitoring on-site.
- Placing a fence around the location.
- Adding more subsurface sampling points for further testing.
Additional testing is ongoing to verify the preliminary results before submitting a remediation plan to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC). We will continue to work with the COGCC on this matter.
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