Leak investigation focusing on natural gas liquids line

An investigation into a hydrocarbon leak north of Parachute is focusing on a valve box for a 4-inch-diameter natural gas liquids line, the director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said this morning.

“The soil around that valve box is fairly saturated with hydrocarbons,” Matt Lepore told commissioner members at their meeting today.

The line leaves Williams’ nearby Parachute Creek Gas Plant, which removes a mix of propane, butane, ethane and other liquids from raw natural gas produced in the region.

An investigation has been continuing into the source of some 6,000 gallons of an unidentified hydrocarbon that Williams discovered after doing pipeline location work in preparation for building an additional plant at the same facility.

Lepore said when excavation began around the valve box as part of the continuing investigation, “they called a halt to the work because of the odors present in the area.”

“They wanted to bring in air monitoring equipment and/or respirators for the workers to be equipped with before they continued the investigation,” he said.

Lepore said Williams hoped to resume work around the box today.

The leak is just 50 feet from Parachute Creek, but authorities say there hasn’t been any sign of the creek having become contaminated.


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