Drilling activity doubled as the price of oil jumped last year. Along with that, there were 88 more spills of oil or water from drilling sites.
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
Few, if any states, map flowlines. Big energy developing states like neighboring Wyoming or Texas do not have any mapping requirement.
Colorado regulators will discuss what, if any, revisions are needed to the rules. They could approve them as soon as today.
Broomfield City Council is expected to vote on a long-awaited drilling agreement with Extraction Oil & Gas later this month.
The 14-page draft of new regulations says flow lines that are permanently taken out of service must be disconnected, drained and sealed at both ends, and any above-ground portion must be removed.
Since 2014, the state's regulator has handed out an unprecedented $12,693,534 in penalties.
More than 400 of Colorado's oil and gas pipelines within 1,000 feet of occupied buildings failed inspections. The location of these pipelines is unknown at this time.
The moves four months after investigators linked an improperly abandoned oil and gas flowline to a home explosion that killed two people and injured one in Firestone.
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission chief Matt Lepore said the move follows an April 17 explosion at a home in Firestone.
Colorado's top regulator says as long as the rules are followed, “there’s very little risk, very little potential harm of having empty, abandoned, plugged, capped lines in the subsurface.”