COGCC report filed for Rangely oil spill

RANGELY I Last week the Herald Times reported on an oil spill in Rangely near Parkview Elementary School that was estimated by the property owner to be about 20 gallons, or half a barrel. The spill occurred on land owned by Rio Mesa Resources approximately 700 feet to the south of the school.

Since that time, the operator filed an initial spill/release report to the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission, which has been designated with the incident number 477782. 

According to the report, cleanup operations on the site involved excavation of impacted soil in a 10’x20’ (200 square feet) area, and between six inches and one feet of depth. Miachel Hayes of Rio Mesa Resources also said in his report filing that “Tanks have been cleaned, removing any residual oil and laid on their sides to prevent any further leaking.” Hayes also said “Impacted soils will be hauled offsite for disposal pending approval.”

According to COGCC Rule 906, operators are required to report spills or releases of exploration and production waste, gas, or produced fluids that meet certain requirements. First and foremost, spills of any size must be reported if they “impact or threaten to impact any waters of the state, a residence or occupied structure, livestock, or public byway.”

Spills that do not meet the specifications listed above have different reporting requirements based on volume and secondary containment structures. Reporting is required for spills/releases of one barrel or more that escape berms or other secondary containment. Spills that do not escape berms or other secondary containment only have to be reported if they equal or exceed five barrels, or 210 gallons.

Spills reported in this manner become public record, and are searchable by the public on the COGCC’s website at