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State Officials To Present Revised Rules For Oil & Gas Flowlines

By Makenzie O'Keefe

DENVER (CBS4) - Colorado regulators are working on new rules for thousands of pipelines across the state after a fatal home explosion in Firestone was caused by a gas leak.

firestone explosion
(credit: CBS)

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is holding a hearing on Monday to finalize the new rules.

Industry leaders have already drafted recommendations, including standards for designing, testing, recording and shutting down flowlines. These lines carry oil or gas from wells to tanks and other machinery.

(credit: CBS)

The draft of new regulations also requires flowlines that are taken out of service must be disconnected, drained and sealed at both ends, to prevent explosions like the one in Firestone.

The hearing will take place Monday at 8:30 a.m. at the Public Affairs building on the University of Colorado Denver campus. It is expected to last two days.

A Look Back At The Deadly Gas Explosion In Firestone

On April 17, 2017 an explosion ripped through a home in Firestone, killing two men inside. Construction workers lifted up a portion of the home in order to to rescue a woman, and a child was also injured.

Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin were killed in a home explosion in Firestone in 2017. (credit: CBS)

Ten days later, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation closed 3,000 vertical wells in northeast Colorado. Two weeks later, investigators declared "fugitive gas" was the cause of the explosion. That unrefined, non-odorized gas leaked from a severed and uncapped flowline connected to a gas well near the home. The state ordered inspections of wells across the state and Anadarko permanently shuttered three wells in the neighborhood.

Makenzie O'Keefe joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2017. Read her bio, follow her on Twitter at @makenziepokeefe or email her your story ideas.

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