After a Noble Energy storage tank that spilled 178 barrels -- about 7,500 gallons -- of oil into the Poudre River was discovered June 20, questions arose about how vulnerable some oil and gas facilities are to flood damage.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has estimated [.pdf] that "more than 5,900 oil and gas wells lie within 500 feet of a Colorado waterway that is substantial enough to be named."
Colorado is quickly becoming ground zero for a political war over the future of hydraulic fracturing. Political spending both for and against potential anti-fracking ballot measures is already washing over the state.
Drilling has been booming across the Niobrara shale formation, which covers much of northeastern Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska. That formation is now estimated to be a third bigger than first thought.