Energy firms earn awards for Colorado operations

Five energy companies have earned awards for their operations in Colorado.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) announced its latest outstanding operator awards during the annual Colorado Oil & Gas Association 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 David Neslin, director of the COGCC.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. won awards for environmental and water quality protection as well as community relations. Anadarko Petroleum developed a mechanical integrity and leak prevention program, increased the reuse and recycling of hydraulic fracturing fluids and expanded the use of vapor recovery units and closed-loop drilling systems. The company also added remote monitoring to track fluid levels in production tanks to prevent spills, installed double-walled water tanks with sensors to avoid leaks and impermeable composite liners under tank batters to prevent groundwater contamination. In addition, Anadarko Petroleum donated more than $700,000 and hundreds of volunteer hours to dozens of community organizations.

Williams Production won awards for water quality protection and community relations. Williams created a contractor training program to prevent and better manage spills involving well completion fluids. More than 140 people have participated in the program so far. The company also worked with the community to manage a drilling pad with 15 wells near the city hall, police station and library in Parachute. A communication and emergency plan included e-mail updates to interested citizens as well as a billboard offering company contact information.

Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. won an award for drilling and completion for using new technology to drill 53 wells from a single pad. Space limitations at the site required staging and dispersed operations. Encana shortened the time from drilling to production by completing some wells at the site even as others were drilled.

Noble Energy Inc. won an award for environmental protection for using closed-loop systems at all 600 wells drilled in Colorado in 2010, in turn eliminating reserve pits, reducing land use effects and speeding reclamation.

BP America won an environmental award for developing a wildlife protection plan for the San Juan Basin in partnership with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Nature Conservancy District.