This Is What It Looks Like When 13,500-Gallons Of Oil Spill Into A River

Flood-ravaged Colorado is now dealing with yet another tragedy: a massive oil spill in the South Platte River.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

Colorado, where fatal floods have already displaced hundreds, is now faced with another challenge: cleaning up the 13,500 gallons of oil that spilled into the South Platte River this week. It was the first major oil spill in the flooded areas where there is a massive network of oil and gas wells.

The spills were reported by Anadarko Petroleum Corp, the second-largest operator in the Denver-Julesburg Basin. It claims to have shut down around 10 percent of its enterprise, including 250 batteries and 670 wells.

Anadarko said:

To date, we are aware of two tank batteries that were damaged by flood waters, and have associated light-oil releases… We are actively working under the oversight of these agencies to contain and clean up the releases to the greatest extent possible. We will continue to provide additional information as appropriate.

“As our friends and neighbors pick up the pieces from this disaster, Anadarko must fulfill their responsibility to the people of Colorado,” said a spokesperson from the Western Values Project.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

A spokesperson from Clean Water Action released a statement claiming that the spill “exemplifies the danger” of drilling and fracking in flood zones.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

Nearly 1,900 wells have been shut, and 600 industry personnel have been inspecting the area and repairing sites, according to the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. Hundreds in Colorado are still unaccounted for in flooded areas.

John Wark / Reuters

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