A crude oil release of unknown volume was discovered in a West Texas cotton field along an abandoned crude oil pipeline. The sandy subsurface lithology allowed the slow release to go undetected at the surface. Terracon assumed project oversight in September 2004 once it was determined that groundwater in the Ogallala Aquifer was impacted. Initial activities included the installation of five monitoring wells in the vicinity of the release. Four of the five wells were impacted with crude oil ranging in thickness from 13.5 to 23 feet. Terracon immediately began a product recovery schedule on the four wells impacted with crude oil. Two weeks following installation, crude oil appeared in the fifth well. Within the first three weeks following monitoring well installation, 40 barrels of crude oil had been recovered from the five wells.
Terracon installed a groundwater pumping system in April 2005 in order to expedite crude oil recovery. Operation of the remediation system, as well as continued manual recovery, has shown a decreasing trend in product thickness. To date, approximately 651 barrels of crude oil have been recovered from the aquifer.