BP Pipeline Leaks Unknown Quantity of Wastewater into Colorado Creek

May 2, 2018

The company claims the leak was immediately and effectively isolated

BP American Production Co. has suffered a leak from one of its pipelines, discharging an unknown quantity of wastewater sourced from oil and gas operations into a creek near Bayfield, Colo.

The leak was discovered by the company on April 19, 2018, and reported it to the state. The leak made its way into Dry Creek, a body of water that eventually flows into the Pine River. While the company claims that it immediately isolated and contained the leak, it does not know the amount of wastewater leaked or how long the leak had existed, according to its report filed with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).

Todd Hartman, spokesman for COGCC, expects more concrete details to arrive in the near future. COGCC is the state agency responsible for overseeing oil and gas operations.

“It’s our understanding that BP is conducting work this week to better determine volume and duration of the release,” Hartman said.

Water does not usually run through the creek, giving it its name, but Hartman claims that there was water present in the creek when the leak was discovered. While it is unlikely that any leaked substances would travel such a distance, irrigators utilize water from the creek farther downstream.

“It would take a significant amount of water to travel, surface-wise, that far downstream,” said Warren Gabbert of the Pine River Irrigation District. “But I just don’t like the idea of (oil and gas) spills into the waterways.”

According to Hartman, sample results are pending but he does not believe the leak will pose any threat to users of the creek.