Tank Battery Explosion Raises Safety Concerns for Oil and Gas Extraction

One worker has died and three remain injured as a result of a recent tank battery explosion in Mead, Colorado. The explosion occurred after the workers completed upgrades to the tank battery. A tank battery is a group of connected tanks that receive produced crude oil from a well. The owner, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., stated that the Mead facility was not in service at the time of the blast.

This explosion took place only a few weeks after another blast occurred just a few miles away from Mead. On April 17, two Firestone, CO natives were killed in a home explosion caused by a leaky well that was also owned by Anadarko. After the explosion in Mead, Anadarko announced it would permanently shut down its Firestone well as well as two others in the neighborhood.

Although the two explosions are said to have been unrelated, they raise serious concerns for the safety of petroleum workers and the citizens who live near oil and gas wells and pipelines. The Sierra Club, the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, has called for Anadarko to cease all operations while state and federal authorities conduct comprehensive reviews. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as other state agencies, are currently conducting their own investigations of the most recent blast. Oil and gas extraction is one of Colorado’s largest industries. Finding a balance between interests of the industry and the public good has always been difficult with the interests of the public good falling short on several occasions. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has stated that oil and gas extraction should only occur “when such development is completed subject to protection of public health, safety and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources.”

Benny Agosto, Jr. is a partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner in Houston, Texas. For over 66 years, Abraham Watkins has successfully represented injured people and families who fall victim to catastrophes. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to obtain just compensation their clients. If you have been injured by an overserved individual driving a vehicle after leaving an establishment, please contact the office of Benny Agosto, Jr. at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, by letter at 800 Commerce Street, Houston, Texas 77002, or by phone at (713) 222-7211.