Oil and Gas Commission recognizes field operators

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RBC I The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission announced its selections for outstanding operators in 2010. The awards recognize the accomplishments of the oil and gas industry in operational and environmental areas as well as in community involvement. This round of awards marks the 15th year the agency has highlighted top operators. Companies recognized for their accomplishments in 2010 include Anadarko Petroleum, BP America, Encana Oil and Gas, Noble Energy and Williams Production RMT. The awards were announced at the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s annual conference. “We want to highlight the leadership of companies with exceptional conduct when it comes to protection of the public and our environment and in working productively with the communities in which they operate,” said COGCC director David Neslin. “We’re fortunate to have some of the industry’s very best; companies that are setting examples nationally with their work in Colorado.” A summary of the award recipients follows.Environmental Protection n Anadarko Petroleum Corp. — Developed a mechanical integrity and leak prevention program. Increased the reuse and recycling of hydraulic fracturing fluids that are saving water, energy and truck traffic. Expanded use of vapor recovery units that capture VOCs and reduce flash emissions. Increased closed-loop drilling systems to reduce water use, waste materials and land impacts, including the need for reserve pits. n Noble Energy Inc. — Employed closed-loop systems at all 600 wells drilled statewide in 2010. The move has eliminated reserve pits, reduced land use impacts, sped up land reclamation and resolved concerns associated with disposal of pit liners. n BP America — Developed a wildlife protection plan in partnership with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Nature Conservancy designed and customized for the San Juan Basin. The plan included several practices to minimize wildlife impacts: automation of well operations to reduce traffic, water-gathering systems to pipe wastewater and closed-loop systems instead of open pits. Water Quality Protection n Anadarko Petroleum Corp. — Added remote monitoring to track fluid levels in production tanks and improve spill prevention. Installed double-walled water tanks with sensors to alert for leaks. Standardized installation of impermeable composite liners under tank batteries to ensure that produced water or other fluids do not come into contact with shallow groundwater in the case of a leak. n Williams Production RMT — Created a contractor training program to improve prevention and management of spills involving well-completion fluids. A classroom phase educates contractors on the potential impacts of a spill and a hands-on segment in the field allows participants to observe best management practices and understand proper and insufficient spill prevention measures. More than 140 people have participated. Community Relations n Williams Production RMT — Worked closely with the community to successfully manage a pad with 15 wells in the heart of the town of Parachute, near city hall, the police station and library. Communication plan and an emergency plan included regular emails to provide updates to interested citizens as well as billboard with the names and phone numbers of two Williams’ officials to contact with any questions. n Anadarko Petroleum Corp. — Contributed hundreds of volunteer hours and more than $700,000 to dozens of organizations benefiting community, art and culture, health, education and the environment. Employee contributions included cash donations of $122,000, and more than 2,000 hours devoted to building the company’s third Habitat for Humanity house. A fourth is underway.
Drilling and Completion n Encana Oil and Gas (USA) Inc. — Employed newest technology to drill 53 wells at a single pad site in Light Gulch, near a tributary of Parachute Creek. Space limitations in the narrow valley required careful staging and dispersed operations, resulting in smaller areas of disturbance and smaller scale stormwater controls. Company shortened the time from drilling to production by many months as many early wells on the pad had been drilled, logged, cased, cemented, stimulated and turned to production even as the last wells on the pad were still being drilled.