Colorado flooding shuts wells, triggers spills

Associated Press
This Sept. 17, 2013 photo provided by Ecoflight shows the result of flash floods that swamped well pads and in some cases dislodged storage tanks in Weld County, Colo. Hundreds of natural gas and oil wells along with pipelines are shut down by flooding, as state and federal inspectors are gauging the damage and looking for contamination from inundated oil fields. (AP Photo/Ecoflight, Jane Pargiter)
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DENVER (AP) — Colorado's flooding has shut down hundreds of natural gas and oil wells in the state's top petroleum patch and triggered at least two significant spills.

Federal regulators said Thursday that Anadarko Petroleum reported the release of 323 barrels from an oil and gas tank farm along the St. Vrain River near Platteville. That's equivalent to 13,566 gallons.

State authorities said a second Anadarko tank spilled an estimated 5,000 gallons of oil into the South Platte River. Absorbent booms were placed there to try to contain it.

It's unclear when the spills occurred. They were reported late Wednesday, six days after flooding started.

One analyst says images of flooded wellheads could increase public pressure to impose restrictions on drilling techniques such as fracking.

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