ACME Responds To A Brine And Oil Spill In Central Oklahoma

ACME Environmental responded to an oil and brine spill in Central Oklahoma in May for a large oil and gas producer. There were approximately 500 barrels of produced water and 50 barrels of oil spilled into a drainage gully which directly flowed into a creek. After a safety meeting discussing ACTS procedures, ACME immediately deployed oil spill containment boom across the creek to contain all of the oil. The prevailing winds during the emergency response caused the oil to disperse upstream which required oil spill containment boom to be deployed upstream and downstream from the original release into the large creek. Vacuum trucks arrived on site and were deployed to two collection sites for removal of oil from the creek. Due to the minimal thickness of the oil, hoses were used to directly remove the oil from the creek. The oil spill drum skimmers were not needed due to the minimal amount of oil thickness. All of the oil was removed from the main creek within 4 hours of ACME personnel arriving on site.

After all of the oil had been removed from the creek, ACME personnel began flushing the drainage gully located upstream from the creek. Two vacuum trucks were deployed to flush the drainage gully with freshwater upstream while one vacuum truck supplied fresh water to a crew power washing the banks of the creek downstream. All of the water used for flushing of the drainage gully was collected at an earthen dam created at the end of the drainage gully. This process was repeated until the banks were properly cleaned and the salinity levels reached an acceptable level. In areas of large grass and debris contamination, personnel weadeated, removed and bagged for disposal. Subsequently, ACME personnel began surveying the main creek with a salinity monitor. All readings were recorded and vacuum trucks were deployed to the areas of highest concentration of salts. ACME soon began flushing the main creek with fresh water from upstream by using two, 3” high pressure pumps. The influx of fresh water coupled with the removal of highly contaminated water resulted in salinity levels dropping consistently over the course of a week. In deep portions of the creek, ACME deployed their floating skimmers to mix fresh water at the top of the creek with the contaminated water at the bottom of the creek. The floating skimmers are designed to pump water from the top of the creek and hoses are used to then direct this water to the bottom portion of the creek. This mixing allows for a more consistent salinity level throughout the entire profile of the creek while also diluting the contaminated brine that has settled on the creek bottom. ACME continued this process until salinity levels were below regulatory requirements.

Each day, ACME Environmental completed ICS forms for the oil and gas producer. Each ICS report included the following forms:

  1. ICS 202 (Response Objectives)
  2. ICS 207 (Organization Chart)
  3. ICS 204 (Assignment List)
    1. Map/Sketch of Spill Site
    2. Weather Forecast
    3. Incident Pictures
  4. ICS 205 (Communication List)
  5. ICS 206 (Medical Plan)
  6. ICS 211p (Personnel Check-in Information)
  7. ICS 211e (Equipment Check-in Information)
  8. ICS 218 (Response Vehicle Summary)
  9. ICS 230 ( Meeting Summary)
  10. ICS 214 (ACME Unit Log)

ACME’s extensive use of these forms allowed for the responsible party and all affected parties to remain informed of response activities. All equipment, personnel and vehicles on site during the spill were checked in daily. All ICS forms were submitted each evening and reviewed by the responsible party prior to work beginning the next operational period.

Prior to completion, ACME profiled all waste (i.e. sorbents, contaminated grass) as E&P exempt waste and transported the waste to an ODEQ permitted landfill. ACME completed the job in accordance with all regulatory cleanup levels and toured the site with the responsible party prior to demobilization A maintenance plan was not required from the regulatory agency and the site was deemed clean upon final inspection.

Want more information on ACME’s oil and brine spill response? Contact us today with your questions or comments.