Oil & Gas Commission Reacts To Deadly Explosion Cause

DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission discussed Tuesday’s developments in Firestone house explosion, just hours after investigators said that “fugitive gas” was to blame for the deadly blast.

COGCC Director Matt Lepore said that all operators would re-examine lines to ensure that those lines have integrity.

RELATED: ‘Fugitive Gas’ Leaked From Pipeline Caused Deadly House Explosion

“What has taken place here is highly unusual and required a confluence of several different events that came to pass,” said Lepore. “This is an unprecedented event. It’s horrible. We will take the steps outlined here to seek to minimize this from happening again. And I think operators will be hyper-vigilant about going forward.”

matt lepore Oil & Gas Commission Reacts To Deadly Explosion Cause

COGCC Director Matt Lepore (credit: CBS)

The April 17 explosion in Firestone killed two people and left another badly burned. The home was 200 feet from a gas well.

firestone home explosion 7 Oil & Gas Commission Reacts To Deadly Explosion Cause

(credit: CBS)

“There is no threat to surrounding homes as a result of the incident,” said Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District Chief Ted Poszywak.

Poszywak said that it was “fugitive gas” from a severed and uncapped line. He also said the proximity of the well to the home did not play a role in the explosion.

“Abandoned flow lines were the source of the leak and the explosion,” said Poszywak.

firestone 1 Oil & Gas Commission Reacts To Deadly Explosion Cause

(credit: CBS)

The abandoned line blamed for the blast was 1-inch in diameter and Lepore said it was often referred to as a “return line.”

“It’s a line that would run between a line head and a tank battery,” said Lepore. “If it was abandoned, it would be disconnected at both ends, should be sealed at both ends and would not be carrying any product. In this case, I think there are unanswered questions about whether the line was disconnected at both ends or perhaps only was disconnected at one end and remained connected to the well head.”

firestone explosion presser lu2 frame 24014 Oil & Gas Commission Reacts To Deadly Explosion Cause

Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District Chief Ted Poszywak (credit: CBS)

Erin Martinez, a physics and chemistry teacher, survived the deadly explosion at her Firestone home but her husband, Mark, and her brother, Joseph Irwin, were killed in the explosion.

house explosion 31 Oil & Gas Commission Reacts To Deadly Explosion Cause

Erin Martinez (credit: CBS)

Lepore said there are still questions about whether the line was ever disconnected from the well or who cut the line.

“We don’t have jurisdiction over developers,” said Lepore. “Might there have been rule violations in this sequence of events… Yes, there might have been.”

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Denver

CBS4 INVESTIGATES
CBS Local App
Send A News Tip

Watch & Listen LIVE