State oil and gas regulators say a neighborhood in Weld County is safe, after a home explosion killed two men in a house last week. Officials aren’t sure what caused the explosion in Firestone which was near a natural gas well run by Anadarko Petroleum.
The explosion led Anadarko, the state’s largest oil driller to temporarily shut down 3,000 similar vertical wells in Northeast Colorado out of an “abundance of caution,” according to a statement. The company says it could be up to four weeks until the wells, which produce about 13,000 barrels of oil a day, are inspected and brought back online.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission got involved in the investigation because there was an active vertical well less than 200 feet from the home. Matt Lapore, the agency’s executive director, says seven active wells near the neighborhood in Firestone have all been shut down.
State says they'll make sure their investigators have the resources to work on Firestone home explosion. Anadarko shut in 3k wells after it. pic.twitter.com/ngRTNkVqLt— Ben Markus (@CPRMarkus) April 27, 2017
“Based on all the investigations to date, COGCC believes there is no immediate threat to the environment or public safety associated with oil and gas operations in the neighborhood,” says Lapore.
The state says this action was taken solely by Anadarko, not at the request of the state. And no other operators, to its knowledge, have shut down vertical wells.
State: more soil sampling planned for Firestone community to determine if any leaks.— Ben Markus (@CPRMarkus) April 27, 2017
No immediate threat to environment or public safety.
Anadarko declined further comment due to the ongoing investigation.
The well near the home that exploded was drilled by another company in 1993 before Anadarko acquired it in 2014, according to the COGCC.