On Shareholder Call, Anadarko CEO Faces Questions About Home Explosion

Photo: Firestone House Explosion - TimesCall
Investigators stand by as machines remove debris from the burned remains of a house on the 6300 Block of Twilight Avenue in Firestone, April 18, 2017.

Anadarko Petroleum posted weak quarterly earnings and faced sharp questions Wednesday after a recent fatal home explosion in Firestone, and the company's decision to close 3,000 wells in the area for inspection.

The explosion killed two people and injured one. The Frederick-Firestone Protection District found that an abandoned flow line near the home, which had been cut, was still connected to a nearby well.

“We are very saddened by the events in Colorado," Anadarko president and CEO Al Walker told shareholders during an investors conference call. “We are going to work very hard to understand it better.”

Reuters reported that Anadarko shares fell about 9.4 percent Wednesday after the earnings report, and that the company estimates the shut down will translate into 13,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day -- a small percentage of its 795,000 barrels of oil equivalent in the first quarter.

Walker took many questions about the explosion. He called the fire department's findings “preliminary” and said the company will be involved as “final determinations” are reached.

Anadarko's CEO declined to answer questions about the details and cost of a new order from Gov. John Hickenlooper, who announced Tuesday that he wants companies in Colorado to inspect all gas feed lines connected to wells within 1,000 feet of buildings.