DENVER (AP) — Colorado has nearly 129,000 underground oil and gas pipelines within about 1,000 feet (300 meters) of occupied buildings, according to energy company reports ordered by the state after a fatal house explosion blamed on a severed gas line.
Friday was the deadline for companies to test those lines for leaks, and about 9,700 test results were made public. The vast majority indicated the pipelines passed the tests.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ordered energy companies to identify and test all pipelines near occupied structures after a natural gas explosion killed two people and injured a third in April.
Investigators said odorless, unrefined gas from the severed pipeline triggered the explosion that destroyed a house in Firestone, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Denver. The line was thought to be abandoned but was connected to a well with a valve in the open position.
Federal, state and local officials are investigating. They have not said why the pipeline was tied into the well.
The explosion worsened longstanding worries in Colorado about the proximity of oil and gas wells to homes, schools and businesses, especially northeast of Denver, where both the population and drilling have expanded rapidly in the past decade.
The data reported to the state by Friday showed more than 7,700 pipelines had at least one end inside a city or town.
The house that exploded was within 200 feet (60 meters) of the gas well, and the pipeline was severed about 10 feet (3 meters) from the house, officials said. The well and pipeline were in place several years before the house was built.
Anadarko Petroleum, which owns the well, said it would…
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