Caution + Care = 99.9% Success Rate


Water management is one of the things that companies who produce oil and gas have to do really well. At WPX, we work with care, train our employees and have invested millions of dollars in water treatment and recycling facilities.

Reporting spills is part of this process and our commitment to comply with state requirements. Today the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission requires operators to report any spill involving one barrel (42 gallons) or more of fluid.

In 2014, WPX handled more than 19 million barrels (798 million gallons) of water, liquids and fluids in our local drilling and production operations in the Piceance Basin. For some context, that’s enough liquid to fill more than 1,200 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

So how’d we do? Of that amount, we kept 99.983 percent of the water and fluids “in the swimming pool” so to speak, or more precisely, where that water was supposed to be – in pipes, tanks, equipment, trucks, etc.

The amount we spilled – 0.017 percent – was less than one quarter of one percent. We documented each of these occurrences – 85 reported in all totaling 3,400 barrels – according to requirements.

About a quarter of the spills occurred in areas where we had lined containment. Additionally, 90 percent of the 3,400 barrels stayed on drilling pads where we ultimately recovered about 87 percent of the spilled  volumes.

99.9 is a strong success rate, but we’re committed to constant improvement. Spill prevention is where we and our contractors can make the biggest, most beneficial impact.

How to Draw A Crowd in Parachute

There’s a typically quiet room in the back of our Parachute office that transforms into a bustling activity center like clockwork.

It’s the monthly safety meeting, a standing-room-only event where about 200 people gather to discuss a critical aspect of our work at WPX: job safety.

To adhere to regulatory compliance and to keep certification up to date, safety meetings are required so employees can discuss operations in the field, as well as safety practices that can save lives and prevent accidents.

At a recent meeting, for example, leaders of the safety meetings gave a presentation about the company’s Emergency Response Plan.

“Every month we choose a different topic so we can train everyone as a group,” says Kevin McDermott,  safety supervisor in Parachute.

“We pack em’ in. These are the days when our parking lot is filled with trucks of those who typically spend their days checking our natural gas wells, McDermott says.

WPX takes safety seriously. In 2013, our employees in the Piceance Basin worked a total of 516,299 hours and drove 5.5 million miles without a lost-time accident, or LTA. An LTA is a specific reportable incident that employs standards and criteria set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In 2012, our Piceance employees worked 480,926 total hours, drove 5.3 million miles and had two LTAs.