Colorado-Response

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Colorado Response

On August 8, 2019, Occidental acquired Anadarko’s Colorado operations. Occidental is committed to safeguarding the environment and protecting the safety and health of our workforce and the communities where we operate.​

The information available on this page provides updates and key information on steps taken since the tragic accident on April 17, 2017 in Firestone, Colorado.


Immediate Action:

Shortly after the tragic accident, and in an abundance of caution, Anadarko shut-in more than 3,000 vertical wells in the DJ Basin and kept them off-line until each could be inspected and tested using a comprehensive 25-step process.

Additionally, the company permanently disconnected and used cement to plug approximately 3,600 one-inch return lines (or poly lines) associated with the operated vertical wells. A video demonstrating the process is available here.

Anadarko held a townhall with the Oak Meadows community and established an internet site where residents could ask questions and communicate concerns. Similar meetings were held with the surrounding neighborhoods of Mountain Shadows and Pelican Shores. The company provided funding for methane detectors to residents and created a reimbursement program for others who wanted to purchase them, expanding the program to anyone living within a half-mile of Anadarko-operated equipment within the DJ Basin.

Snapshot:

  • Shut-in more than 3,000 vertical wells
  • Inspected each using a 25-step process
  • Permanently disconnected and used cement to plug approximately 3,600 one-inch return lines
  • Engaged with community and provided reimbursement for more than 750 methane detectors free of charge


Medium-Term Action:

In the months that followed, Anadarko worked closely with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to provide information and comply with inspection guidelines. In May 2017, the COGCC issued a statewide Notice to Operators (NTO) which required all operators to inspect and document location of all flowlines within 1,000 feet of a building-unit as well as pressure test flowlines to verify their integrity. Anadarko completed that request by July 2017.

Snapshot:

  • ~4,200 wells inspected
  • 4,000+ active flowlines pressure tested
  • ~1,110 production facilities inspected
  • 2,400+ inactive steel flowlines were disconnected, plugged and abandoned
  • ~99.6% of Anadarko’s flowlines passed inspection, with the remainder taken out of service or repaired

At the request of former Gov. John Hickenlooper, the COGCC undertook a rulemaking process to strengthen state regulations.

Anadarko supported the enhanced rulemaking, which was passed unanimously in February 2018. After a thorough review of existing regulations, the process culminated in the strengthening of Colorado’s oil and gas development regulatory framework. The end-result marked a successful collaboration between Anadarko and other industry partners, state regulators and legislators, and the Hickenlooper Administration.

Snapshot of Regulatory enhancements include:

  • Registration of new and existing flowlines
  • Additional and more detailed requirements for the location, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and abandonment procedures associated with flowlines
  • Elimination of above-ground risers connected to abandoned flowlines
  • Increase in required inspections
  • Strengthen and expanded “811-Call Before You Dig” system


Anadarko’s Timeline of Actions

April 17, 2017: Home explosion occurred in Firestone, Colorado.

April 26, 2017: Anadarko announced proactive measures to shut-in more than 3,000 wells throughout northeast Colorado. Crews conducted additional inspections, which included a 25-step process, and testing of associated equipment.

May 2, 2017: The Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District released the results of its investigation.

May 2, 2017: COGCC issued a statewide Notice to Operators (NTO) requiring all operators to inspect and document location of all flowlines within 1,000 feet of a building unit as well as pressure test flowlines to verify their integrity.

May 24, 2017: Anadarko held a town hall meeting for approximately 170 Oak Meadows residents as a part of an ongoing dialogue with local communities, and established an internet site for residents to ask questions, voice concerns and receive updates.

June 3, 2017: Anadarko employees provided reimbursements for methane detectors to residents of Oak Meadows, and expanded the program to households within a half-mile of Anadarko-operations in the DJ Basin. To date, more than 750 reimbursements have been provided.

July 28, 2017: Anadarko provided confirmation to the COGCC that we had substantially completed the operational requirements described in the NTO and the “Frequently Asked Questions,” including the abandonment of the remaining inactive steel flowlines.

Oct. 20, 2017: Following several months of monitoring and successful efforts to remediate isolated areas of methane present in the soil near the site of the accident and Oak Meadows Blvd., the COGCC approved Anadarko’s closure request.

May 23, 2018: Anadarko announced it reached agreement to resolve the claims of the Martinez and Irwin families, including the claims of Erin Martinez and her children, and those of Cathy Hurtado and Joseph Irwin Jr., related to the explosion of the Martinez home on Twilight Avenue in Firestone, Colorado, on April 17, 2017.

August 28, 2018: Anadarko completed the work to permanently retire (commonly referred to as plug and abandon in the industry) the three vertical wells and associated equipment located within the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, just adjacent to the Oak Meadows subdivision where the accident occurred. For context, those three wells remained shut-in since April of 2017, which means they were not producing oil or natural gas.

August 8, 2019: Occidental acquires Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

October 29, 2019: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) releases its Pipeline Accident brief​ regarding the Firestone tragedy.

April 13, 2020: The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) approves an $18.25 million penalty​ associated with the Firestone tragedy.



Occidental’s Ongoing Commitment

Like Anadarko, Occidental will continue to work with community members and residents, local government and state regulators to ensure our ongoing commitment to safety incorporates the voices and thoughts of our stakeholders.

Our focus continues to be on operating in a safe and transparent fashion. We will continue to be accessible to our stakeholders and responsive to concerns. You can reach our dedicated team by contacting the Colorado Response Line at 866.248.9577 or ColoradoStakeholder@oxy.com.

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