About a year ago, a home in Firestone, Colorado, blew up, killing two people and seriously injuring another. The cause was a severed flowline from a nearby gas well.
To prevent this from happening again, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has new requirements, which go into effect Tuesday.
A flowline is a pipe that carries oil and gas from the wellhead to other pipelines or storage facilities. Before the Firestone explosion, operators didn’t have to tell regulators where their flowlines were. Those days are over, according to Todd Hartman of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.
"Oil and gas companies will have to provide more detailed information about flowlines to the COGCC than they’ve ever had to in the past," he said.
Not only will oil and gas operators now be required to register new and existing flowlines, they’ll have to provide specific GIS data about where they start, stop and the path they take in between. Not all this information will be made public, Hartman said; but it will be shared with local governments for emergency and planning purposes.
"If you’re building new homes or a big box store," he said, "it’s certainly helpful to know precisely where those lines are going."
Flowlines, constructed after May 1 will need to provide GIS data. Those already in existence need to be registered with the COGCC by Oct. 31, 2019.