Company reports oil spills where Ike hit

September 17, 2008 7:36:37 PM PDT
Two oil spills near where Hurricane Ike struck hardest on the Texas coast poured more than 1,000 barrels onto the ground, according to the company that reported the incidents. HURRICANE IKE: Watch live | Breaking news on Ike | Roadway incidents | Interactive tracking | Viewer photos of Ike | Doppler radar | During the storm | After the storm | Hurricane guide

Denbury Onshore LLC of Plano has filed initial reports with the Texas Railroad Commission saying 900 barrels of oil were spilled in one location and 143 barrels in another.

Both spills occurred in Chambers County, one of the areas most affected by Ike when it slammed the coast with top winds of 110 mph last weekend.

The spills are two of three that have been reported to the Railroad Commission, which deals with land-based drilling.

Seven potential spills have been reported to the Texas General Land Office, which oversees water-based operations. None reflect significant discharges, according to the initial reports.

Denbury officials said some of the oil from the two spills has coated vegetation, but most has been dissipated in flood water.

"We feel like in the next two weeks we'll have this whole area fully remediated with no real environmental impact," said Ryan Jacob, Denbury's field operations manager for health, safety and environmental issues.

The company, a subsidiary of publicly-traded Denbury Resources Inc., estimated that it lost all 900 barrels stored in a drilling area near Oyster Bayou, which was hit with an eight-foot storm surge.

Jacob said two aerial inspections -- one by the company and the other by the Railroad Commission -- have shown that most of the oil has washed away.

He said the company is working to clean up a light coating of oil on some vegetation. It is also using booms to clean up a "sheen" on Oyster Bayou, although that material likely came from another source, he said.

"We don't like to see anything leave our facilities," he said. "But the overwhelming storm surge kind of overcame our mitigating action. We're working to get it fixed as best we can."

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