Parachute: Benzene probe down to one company

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From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Dennis Webb):

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission staff have dropped allegations against Marathon Oil Co., Petroleum Development Corp. and Nonsuch Natural Gas. They also cleared one Williams Production RMT well pad as a possible contributor to the contamination, but they are looking into whether other Williams operations might be to blame.

The investigation stems from an incident May 30, 2008, in which De Beque resident Ned Prather visited his cabin, drank water from his spring and became sick enough that he had to go to a hospital…

Oil and gas commission staff initially issued what are called notices of alleged violation to the four energy companies based largely on proximity of their operations. However, commission Director Dave Neslin said Thursday that sampling has indicated the contamination is coming from east of the spring, where only Williams has nearby operations. “But we have not yet identified a specific release point,” he said.

Williams spokeswoman Susan Alvillar said that based on the company’s own investigations, it doesn’t believe its well pad and pipeline east of the spring are the contamination source.

More oil and gas coverage here and here and here.

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