This short video documents an operator's cleanup of a condensate storage tank's overflow and spill at a natural gas well in Kanawha county, West Virginia. The cleanup was cosmetic only.
This well's (47-039-02026) condensate storage tank periodically overflows. An overflow the winter of 2007/2008 had condensate (crude petroleum and brine) traveling a long distance from the well site toward a stream. There was no secondary containment to retain the overflow as required by law.
Secondary containment was constructed in September 2008 and consists of a substantial earth dike and rainwater drain.
There was an overflow in spring 2010 that appeared to be more brine, less crude oil.
Another overflow occurred in late 2011. The secondary containment retained most of the spilled material but did allow condensate to seep through the dike in two spots, near the separator and in the path of the 2007/2008 spill.
The most recent spill was not as extensive. Cleanup was rudimentary. Dried sphagnum moss was spread over large oily patches, straw was spread within the containment, and the tank was cleaned. None of the oil-soaked soil was removed from the site.
State law requires that containment be constructed of impermeable materials. The earth dike in this case was not. State law also requires overflow prevention or warning devices, though we have only seen one installed on a tank at the sites we've examined. Solar overflow prevention devices are available and one should be installed on this tank.
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