Few Pipeline Inspections Reported After Fatal Colorado Gas Blast

DENVER (AP) — Colorado regulators say few energy companies have reported the results of state-ordered inspections of oil and gas pipelines after a natural gas explosion killed two people.

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Director Matt Lepore warned Tuesday the state could order operators to shut down wells connected to pipelines that haven’t been checked by the deadline.

The commission ordered inspections and tests of pipelines within 1,000 feet (300 meters) of buildings after the April 17 explosion in the town of Firestone. Investigators blamed the explosion on odorless, unrefined gas from a small severed pipeline.

The May 2 order covered flow lines, which connect wells to storage tanks and other collection points. The state told operators to inspect flow lines by May 30 and test them for leaks by June 30.

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