A DEQ report states that 500 gallons of crude oil was released to surrounding soils due to a pressure blowout at the well site. Cleanup is underway to remove impacted gravels for removal. Action is about 80 percent complete. The information is considered preliminary and is subject to revision.
At approximately 10 a.m., an oil drill rig located on Ridge Road and Upper Miller Creek erupted and spewed oil, water and other contaminates. Emergency crews including Wellington Fire Department and Hazmat team responded to the call.
Emergency Services Director Jason Llewelyn headed the Hazmat team and said that there was a crack in the well head this morning and the pressure from the well caused an oil eruption. The cause of the crack is under investigation. The well, owned by Whiting Oil and Gas, has been capped and the spill is contained.
Ridge Road was closed for precautionary purposes for about an hour, but was then reopened to traffic. Llewelyn said that the spill was primarily confined to the oil pad area. He felt 95-98 percent of the oil and contaminates stayed withing the well pad perimeter.
Hazmat finished their work around 4:30. Wellington Fire Department stayed on scene for a while longer while they monitored the area for volatile fumes. They have released the area as well.
It is expected to take several weeks to clean up the site and dirt has been brought in to soak up the spill. The contaminated soil will be removed and taken to a site that can accept the contaminated dirt.
File photo shows the well pad in March.