A six inch diameter oil gathering pipeline operated by Chevron in northwestern Colorado burst early march releasing some 4800 gallons of oil into the arid Colorado environment.
The breach happened on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land and was first detected on March 5 by a Chevron consultant. The company shut down the line after discovery of the leak and the oil is now trapped in a berm and siphon dam in a dry ravine, according to the Associated Press.
Chevron has been linked to 31 spills in Colorado this past year, the fourth biggest spiller in the state, a dubious distinction for a company that stresses its commitment to the highest environmental standards in the industry.
In a statement Chevron said that it "aggressively manages the risk of spills through a rigorous ongoing asset integrity program wherever we operate; For example, Chevron has undertaken a comprehensive, multi-year, multi-million-dollar project to streamline and upgrade facilities and systems at our largest Colorado asset in Rangely," the company continued. "The program will continue through 2018. To date, approximately 11 miles of pipes have been removed from service."
An examination of industry accident data by the conservation group Center for Western Priorities found 509 spills reported to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission last year, down from 615 the year before, the Daily Sentinel reported on Tuesday. There were 712 spills reported in 2014.