Anadarko Gas Lines Likely Severed in 2017 Colorado Explosion

October 29, 2019

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. natural gas lines were “likely” severed in the construction of a home — that’s the conclusion of a federal report on a 2017 Colorado explosion that destroyed that home and scorched a house next door, killing two people and injuring another.

Anadarko is now part of Occidental Petroleum.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators on Monday released a summary of its probe, stating that the explosion in the city of Firestone occurred due to “ignition of natural gas from lines then owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation” and likely severed during home construction.

The NTSB also said that the approval by local authorities to “allow occupied structures to be built on land adjacent to or previously part of oil and gas production fields” without full documentation of the state or locations of the lines contributed to the accident.

It also found that the lines near the residence, which had been previously owned by Patina Oil and Gas Corporation, were not abandoned according to state regulations. The rule is that lines be disconnected from the source, cleared of liquid hydrocarbons and sealed at both ends.

The report states “none of the three lines found at the residence were properly abandoned in accordance with these requirements.”

Mark Martinez and brother-in-law Joe Irwin were killed in the blast.

Martinez’s wife was seriously injured.

According to Colorado Public Radio, financial settlement with Erin Martinez was reached in 2018. But regulators at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission have not taken punitive action against the company because they say they’ve been awaiting the NTSB report.