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No water contamination says Barrett Corp after 'minor' leak

Sun Advocate reporter

WELLINGTON - A gas driller says it has mopped up an oil leak in a creek outside a pipeline compressor station in eastern Utah last week.

A press release from the Bill Barrett Corporation stated "minor seepage" was discovered in Nine Mile Creek near Wellington.

Barrett contractors detected "minor seepage" of condensate into Nine Mile Creek on Tuesday, March 30. The facility is on land owned by the corporation and the BBC has operated the compressor station since January 2004.

"There is no evidence that water quality has been significantly impacted outside the immediate location of the seep," said Duane Zavadil, senior vice president of Government & Regulatory Affairs.

The Denver-based company says crews used absorbent booms to contain the leak as they prepared to excavate an underground line that is the source of the leak.

According to the release, government regulators were notified immediately and the company shut down the Dry Canyon Compressor Station east of Wellington, which processes 50 million cubic feet of natural gas a day.

Ironically, the incident took place shortly after the Barrett Corp. was recently given a wildlife award in Moab.

The organization received the Conservation Achievement Award at this year's Wildlife Society meeting. Nominated by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, BBC was lauded for its progressive attitude toward wildlife and innovative approach to wildlife mitigation.

The BBC statement also detailed that the leak was discovered Tuesday, March 30 and was contained by Thursday, April 1 with no evidence of water pollution outside of the immediate location of the leak.

"We have shut down equipment at the station until the source of the seep is identified," Zavadil added.

He also said the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Response Center, Utah Department of Environmental Control (UDEQ), Division of Oil Gas & Mining and Carbon County authorities were all contacted immediately.

A spokesman for the Division of Oil Gas & Mining could not give very much detail, but did add that it was "an unfortunate little spill." He also said, "Anytime a spill takes place - especially near a water source - there is concern.

"From what we know, however, Barrett Corp. notified the appropriate agencies and took the appropriate action. The leakage certainly traveled downstream, but they were able to contain it, although our department does not yet know if they found the source."

The spokesman reiterated that there should be no major environmental damage, "as long as they locate the source of the leak."

The UDEQ has been on-site and has collected samples from the creek. Zavadil maintains that monitoring remedial activity will continue until regulators have deemed the situation resolved.

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