Oil spill in DeWitt caused by Hurricane Harvey

DeWitt County Emergency Management is aware of the possible spill of the oil well tanks. Prior to Hurricane Harvey making landfall, ConocoPhillips notified DeWitt County that all production sites had been closed in and had product in tanks on their sites.

ConocoPhillips was monitoring all tanks during the storm and was notified when four tanks lost communications. When it was safe to do so, the company sent crews to assess the site, and notified proper regulatory agencies.

DeWitt County Emergency Management Coordinator met with ConocoPhillips on scene, and while there possibly was a spill, the actual volume had not been determined.

ConocoPhillips reported two oil storage tanks sites that lost communication, but only one site suffered impacts.

The Texas Railroad Commission also visited the site and determined that the site west of Hochheim did not have a spill and all 13,272 gallons (316 barrels) are accounted for.

The second site, near Westhoff had 16,170 gallons (385 barrels) stored on site and ConocoPhillips has notified the DeWitt County Emergency Management Coordinator that oil has leaked out of the tanks. State and County officials are waiting for water to recede and clean up crews to begin recovery of oil from the tanks to determine the exact amount of oil spilled.

At this time there is no hazard to the area or the ground water. Any oil that would have spilled during the flooding and high waters would have been diluted and would have traveled downstream without causing a hazard. There was no evidence on the tanks or surrounding area of a spill, however, ConocoPhillips made the reports, as required, to make the agencies aware of the possibility of a spill and reported the amount that was in the tanks at the time of the storm.

For more information, please refer to the ConocoPhillips site for more information. Below is Ctheir statement from the site. http://www.conocophillips.com/Pages/Hurricane-Relief-Efforts.aspx

August 31, 2017 – 9:00 a.m. ConocoPhillips is still assessing the impacts of Hurricane Harvey. The safety of our employees and their families is our primary focus.

On Tuesday, Aug. 29 rising waters associated with heavy rains and flooding within the Guadalupe river system washed out 4 storage tanks at one of our well sites in DeWitt County, Texas. These tanks are used to temporarily store produced oil and produced water from the well. The 4 tanks held approximately 385 barrels of oil (16,160 gallons) and approximately 76 barrels of produced water (3,192 gallons), but the actual spill volume has not been determined. At the time of the incident, this well remained shut-in, so no oil and water were flowing to the tanks.

At the time we suspected a second site experienced similar impacts and reported it to regulators. Upon inspection we found the site was secured and no oil or water had been spilled.

This well’s production, as well as all ConocoPhillips/Burlington production in the Eagle Ford was shut-in from Friday, August 25 through Sunday, August 27 as a result of conservative and proactive measures undertaken by ConocoPhillips prior to Hurricane Harvey’s landfall this past weekend.

All applicable federal and state regulatory agencies were immediately notified.