Update on State 30-16 Site Methane Investigation
Investigations into the source of the methane release at the State 30-16 well are ongoing, and data from the nine soil samples analyzed indicate no contamination beyond the initial soil vapor methane detected in late August.
An updated Form 27 approved by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) on Jan. 21, 2022 is available here. Town staff have been coordinating with COGCC, and a site visit with the principal COGCC investigator is planned to assess the on-going investigations. While preliminary soil vapor results show a concentration of subsurface methane near the previously plugged and abandoned State 6-16 well, a final determination on the source of the methane release has not yet been reached. COGCC and Kerr McGee Oil have not yet established a remediation plan as investigation into the source of the methane is ongoing with updates expected quarterly.
To date no methane has been detected at the surface or in the air by on-site air monitoring or periodic IR camera inspections (reports are available from the Stakeholder Project Updates site, scroll to the bottom of the page for State 30-16 reports), thus State, operator, and Town staff are confident that there was not any danger at the time of the initial report and there remains no danger to students or staff at Soaring Heights or Erie High Schools, nor to the public at large.
Questions regarding the ongoing investigation can be directed to David Frank, Energy and Environmental Program Specialist for the Town of Erie at firstname.lastname@example.org; to Gregory Hamilton, the Environmental Consultant for Kerr McGee leading the investigation at Gregory_Hamilton@oxy.com; or to Chris Canfield, the principal COGCC investigator at email@example.com.
The methane release was reported in a notification on Sept. 2 and a follow-up on Sept. 13, and Oct. 28. 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).