Colorado energy companies slow to report oil and gas pipeline inspections after Firestone blast

Few results of testing so far after fatal Colorado gas blast

A large pile of charred debris is seen as investigators work at the scene of a fire that killed two people and injured two others on the 6300 Block of Twilight Avenue in Firestone. More photos: TimesCall.com.
Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer April 27,  2017

Colorado regulators say few energy companies have reported the results of state-ordered inspections of oil and gas pipelines after a natural gas explosion killed two people.

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Director Matt Lepore warned Tuesday the state could order operators to shut down wells connected to pipelines that haven’t been checked by the deadline.

The commission ordered inspections and tests of pipelines within 1,000 feet (300 meters) of buildings after the April 17 explosion in the town of Firestone. Investigators blamed the explosion on odorless, unrefined gas from a small severed pipeline.

The May 2 order covered flow lines, which connect wells to storage tanks and other collection points. The state told operators to inspect flow lines by May 30 and test them for leaks by June 30.