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Weld County Drilling Site Fire Injures 7

(CBS4) - Seven workers from Crestone Peak Resources were hurt in a fire that happened at an oil well in Weld County on Monday night. It happened at Crestone Peak's well pad at Regnier Farms, located at 465 County Road 20 1/2, which is just east of East County Line Road.

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Crews were pulling out a drill stick when the fire started at 8:30 p.m., according to Mountain View Fire Rescue. All of the people who were hurt suffered burns, but the company said none of the injuries were life-threatening. The exact cause is still being investigated.

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Combustibles on the property were burning, but the fail safes on the pad helped prevent greater concern. The department elected to let the fire burn itself out.

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"The drillers had shut in the well right as it caught on, so there wasn't product coming from the well head," Mountain View Fire Chief Dave Beebe said. "These wells have a lot of safety features built in to them. When it all works properly, by all accounts this one did, it does contain the fire to where it needs to be."

Beebe said his department, the Weld County Sheriff's Office, OSHA and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Committee were participating in the investigation initially.

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He the air quality surrounding the drill, and nearby homes, was evaluated. No heightened levels of toxins were identified. Beebe said the community should not be concerned for their safety.

"We have the capabilities to monitor air for toxins," said Beebe. "We monitored last night during the fire. We did not get any hits even inside of the walls that you see up there. So right now there's no product going on. That whole site is completely shut down and cold right now. I do not feel there's any danger to the surrounding community right now."

Drill Site Fire
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Crestone Peak released a statement, "Our thoughts are with those who have been injured and their families. We are grateful to the first responders."

"At the time of the incident, contract workers from Swabbco Well Services and Ensign Energy Services were conducting an operational phase known as flowback, which is when fluids used during the completions process flow from the well back to the surface. This is an important step that occurs to transition the well to production.

 At the time of the incident, the on-site crew followed safety protocols by shutting in the well immediately, before evacuating the drilling platform and calling for help. The safety measures in place contained the fire, which was monitored by first responders from Mountain View Fire and extinguished within minutes."

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