Anadarko to disconnect Colorado gas lines after home blast

Workers in Firestone, Colo., dismantle the charred remains of a house where a petroleum industry gas line leak explosion killed two people inside their home in Firestone, Colo. Fire officials said that an investigation has revealed that the April 17, 2017, explosion was caused by unrefined natural gas that was leaking from a small abandoned pipeline from a nearby well owned. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. says it will permanently disconnect the 1-inch lines running underground from its vertical wells in northeastern Colorado, a response to the fatal home blast near one of its old wells there.

Natural gas flows through these low-pressure lines to power oil field equipment that separates the oil a company produces from the gas and water.

The move comes two weeks after Colorado investigators linked a mid-April explosion that destroyed a house, killed two men and injured a woman to a natural gas leak from cut and abandoned flow lines from a well the company owns.

The well was drilled by another operator in 1993, and the home was recently built some 200 feet from the well. Gas got into the house through a French drain and sump pit, investigators found.

Related: Colorado investigators link fatal home explosion to Anadarko well

The Woodlands-based company has also shut in 3,000 vertical wells in the region and has started inspecting them, prioritizing the ones near homes. It said 200 Anadarko employees are conducting the inspections.

It’s an effort, the company said late Tuesday, to “help reassure the community and begin the process of rebuilding trust in the safety of our operations.”

Earlier this month, Colorado’s state oil and gas regulator told operators to inspect existing flowlines and document those within 1,000 feet of a building, and to abandon lines they’re not using.

After Colorado investigators reached their conclusion about the flowline, Anadarko said it would continue working with them “to ensure we fully understand the basis for the fire district’s conclusion and that no stone is left unturned prior to any final determinations.”

Anadarko’s stock price has fallen from around $60 a share in late April before it announced it was cooperating with Colorado investigators to $51.75 a share on Tuesday.

An illustration provided by Anadarko of so-called return lines that carry natural gas to equipment that separates oil, gas and water.