A gas well just north of Windsor, Colo. leaked greenish-brown frack fluid for nearly 30 hours before being capped late in the afternoon on Tuesday.
Calling the liquid "flowback water," PDC Energy's senior vice president of operations Bart Brookman told 9News:
Anytime you have a release that you don't have the ability to shut it in, it's a big deal.
The spill happened on the same day Gov. John Hickenlooper testified before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and made the memorable quote that he drank fracking fluid.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Commission says the spill was due to a mechanical failure, that no one was hurt and that the company does not expect any environmental problems. The company, PDC Energy, dug trenches around the spill and used a vacuum truck to clean up the fluid.
"We were in a work-over mode where we had a mechanical problem with the work-over rig, which caused damage to the wellhead, which caused the leak," Brookman told The Greeley Tribune. "Trying to associate this incident with fracking is not fair."
"We're still reviewing what happened," state natural resources spokesman Todd Hartman told The Denver Post. Hartman said that the was frack fluid mixed with some oil, and that there was no estimate for the volume of the fluid spilled.
PDC has reported two other spills near Greeley that contaminated the groundwater this year, according to data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
The nearest home to the site was about 1,500 feet away.