Marathon agrees to pay $143,350 over spill near Parachute

DENVER — Marathon Oil Co. has agreed to pay $143,350 over a fluid spill near Parachute.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is due to consider the settlement next week.

Commission staffers say about 31,590 barrels of flowback fluid was released in late 2007 through January 2008, when a seam in a pit liner at a well pad failed. Marathon could’ve been fined $174,000, but commission staff recommended a reduction because Marathon responded promptly and cooperated with regulators. The company doesn’t admit wrongdoing in the settlement.

Commission staffers say water samples showed no significant impacts to Garden Gulch or Parachute Creek.

Still pending are fines for Berry Petroleum Co., which reported three spills that discharged an estimated 2,400 barrels of drilling fluids into a Garden Gulch tributary around the same time.


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