Anadarko is committed to preventing and minimizing the impacts of spills everywhere we operate. This commitment is demonstrated by the implementation of best management practices, engineering design, mechanical integrity, product assessment and training.
Anadarko recognizes the best way to minimize spills or releases is to prevent them in the first place. If an event does occur, corporate and regional emergency response teams are prepared to respond. To ensure our preparedness, regional response plans identify critical staff, training and resources and mandate training that is necessary to effectively respond. For example, though the flood of 2013 was unprecedented in Colorado, it provided a first-hand experience for operators on the effects of a catastrophic event on well equipment locations.
The vast majority of Anadarko’s locations, equipment and automation performed as designed during the flood, and Anadarko took the lessons learned and implemented several improvements to ensure equipment in the floodplain is protected from future flood events. For instance, Anadarko is doubling reinforcement measures by installing a four-anchor hold in the floodplain to prevent tanks from tipping over or traveling off location. In order to prevent debris from hitting the wellhead, Anadarko is installing heavy-duty guards on wells in the floodplain. These efforts contributed to Anadarko earning an environmental protection award from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Collaborative Best Management Practices
Anadarko is engaged at the national, state and local levels to identify effective best management practices to improve our operations, which includes working cooperatively with our peer companies. We played a key role in the development of the Appalachian Shale Recommended Practices Group Recommended Standards and Practices. This document recommends using the following when practicable:
- Impermeable material lining well pad areas to prevent spills and releases from contacting the ground
- Diversionary structures and storm-water management practices
- Secondary containment for tanks containing fluids (excluding groundwater and other benign fluids)
- Spill-prevention and emergency-response plans
- Closed-loop drilling fluid management systems
- Integrity testing of high-pressure surface equipment
To optimize tank battery design, when local infrastructure allows, Anadarko installs Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) units to sell produced hydrocarbons through pipelines as opposed to relying on oil haulers to bring hydrocarbons to the marketplace. Current design practices in Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg Basin utilize bulk separation production facilities that eliminate the need for on-site oil storage tanks, further decreasing our emissions and environmental footprint.