Back-To-Back Deadly Oil & Gas Explosions in Colorado Communities

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❝ An Anadarko oil tank battery exploded in flames on Thursday afternoon, killing one worker and injuring three more, just 3.5 miles from the site of a deadly home explosion in Firestone, Colo., that killed two last month…

On the same day, state officials confirmed that two pockets of methane gas were discovered in the Oak Meadows community, in Firestone. Todd Hartman, spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) noted that the elevated readings on the left side of the image below were likely related to the existence of a tank battery and so not necessarily abnormal. The second pocket of gas was located underneath Oak Meadows Boulevard. According to the DNR, a preliminary investigation indicates that a flowline heading towards that road may have been cut when a sewer was installed there.

❝ Earlier this month, Governor John Hickenlooper ordered a statewide review of all oil and gas operations following the Firestone home explosion. The explosion was traced to an uncapped flowline from a newly activated gas well, both owned by Anadarko. The line was buried seven feet underground but was accidentally severed near the home’s basement. It leaked odorless gas that exploded, killing homeowner Mark Martinez and his brother-in-law Joey Irwin, both 42.

❝ Oil and gas producers in the state faced a deadline of May 30 to complete inspections and a deadline of June 30 to fix any problems found. In the meantime, about a hundred homeowners in the Oak Meadows neighborhood have filed suit against the owner of the well, Anadarko Petroleum, the past owner of the well, Noble Energy, as well as the home builders and developers.

❝ For years anti-oil and gas activists have been clamoring for greater distances between homes and oil and gas activity. In 2013, Colorado increased setbacks for new wells to 500 feet. But there are no statewide regulations regarding what is known as “reverse setbacks,” the distance that new homes must be built from older wells.

Anyone think people are more important than profits? Get in the way of serious money-making natural resources and you will learn about eminent domain faster than a bolt of lightning. Or a natural gas explosion.

4 thoughts on “Back-To-Back Deadly Oil & Gas Explosions in Colorado Communities

  1. Gas-s-s-s says:

    May 17, 2017 – “Days after a gas line linked to an Anadarko Petroleum well ignited a deadly home blast in Colorado, the company’s chief executive said the “terrible tragedy has left all of us with heavy hearts.” But even as investigators were picking through the wreckage, the company moved to fight a new bill that would have forced it to tell Colorado homeowners how close they live to oil and gas operations.” “The sequence of events that unfolded after the Colorado explosion demonstrates the political power of the Texas-based company, which is Colorado’s largest oil and gas producer and has flooded Colorado politics with campaign cash. An International Business Times/MapLight review of campaign finance records found the firm gave more than $7.2 million to political groups operating in the state during the 2016 election cycle — an average of roughly $10,000 every day for two years.” See also “Halliburton In Colorado: Board Member’s Donation Shows Power Of Oil And Gas Industry”

  2. Will B. says:

    “After Home Explosion, Who Wants To Live On Twilight Ave?” In addition to decreases in property values that result from living near oil and gas development and potential direct losses from oil and gas ‘incidents’, there is also “residual stigma“, described as the “additional loss, over and above actual clean-up costs, which a property suffers as a result of risks and other residual characteristics.” See also time-lapse aerial view from 1999 through 2015 of the area where the fatal Oak Meadows home explosion occurred as new housing developments encroaches upon old wells.

  3. Collateral Damage says:

    “Extraction Oil & Gas said Tuesday that it plans to stay busy in the Denver-Julesburg Basin next year, spending $770 million to $840 million to drill 170 to 175 wells.” (photo caption: Homes in Broomfield’s Anthem Ranch sit just north of the site of Extraction Oil and Gas, Inc.’s Lowell Pad) “The Denver-based producer plans to frack or complete another 185 to 190 wells, and spend another $120 million to $150 million to acquire land and on other non-production costs.”
    See also “How the U.S. Government Hid Fracking’s Risks to Drinking Water” (11/17) and ““New, Major Evidence That Fracking Harms Human Health” (12/12/17)

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