Preventing Spills

Reducing spills is one of our key performance objectives — a goal that drives accountability across all employee levels. Using spill causal analysis, facility design and operational improvements, we have decreased our number of spills reportable to regulatory agencies each year since 2013.  


In 2017, we handled nearly 280 million barrels of liquids, including freshwater, produced water and oil. We contained 99.99% of these liquids with a spill rate of 0.0026%. Although we consider this rate to be successful, our goal is always zero spills.


Prevention Programs

Spill prevention initiatives have enabled us to make significant environmental performance improvements. Employees from our Engineering, Operations and Environmental, Health, Safety and Regulatory (EHSR) teams collect and analyze spill data, identify spill causes and collaborate to implement operational design improvements to prevent spills. Our prevention efforts focus on five main spill causes: pipeline failure; corrosion; weather; human error; and equipment failure.

One example of a spill prevention initiative is our integrity management efforts, which proactively identify and mitigate corrosion of our equipment. Over time, environmental conditions and produced water can corrode steel equipment, potentially causing a leak or malfunction. Early detection of corrosion is key to mitigating risk, and field staff receive training on how to identify corrosion as part of their field equipment inspections. Should a problem be identified, we either repair the corroded area or replace the equipment. 

Beyond repairing or replacing equipment, we have established a company design standard that requires all new and replacement steel storage tanks be internally coated to resist corrosion. The majority of our production lines, vessels and tanks are also treated with liquid corrosion inhibitors, which establish a thin film between fluids that may be corrosive to steel surfaces.

For further safeguarding of our tanks and heater treaters, we encourage the use of anodes, pieces of sacrificial metal that corrode first and protect the integrity of our equipment. Sacrificial anodes are monitored and replaced periodically as part of our prevention initiatives. 

Secondary containment for storage tanks is also a key element of our facility design and spill protection efforts. The secondary containment surrounding our tanks captures fluid and is designed to last the life of the well or facility.

Spill Response

If an incident occurs, Chesapeake activates a comprehensive, cross-functional team that focuses first on safety, then on environmental protection and regulatory compliance. At any time, this team and its resources are ready and available to respond.