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Tougher Oil & Gas Rules in Colorado Set to Take Effect

On February 13, 2018, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved new rules to require the industry to track the location of oil and gas pipelines. The new rules stem from an explosion in Firestone, Colorado caused by a leaking pipeline that destroyed a house and killed two people on April 17, 2017. That disaster triggered a massive public outcry, directives from the Governor, and now significant revisions to state regulations. 

For pipelines to be installed after May 1, 2018, Companies must now tell regulators where pipelines are going to be located. The industry acknowledges that no one knows the location of all existing pipelines. The new rules require the companies to give what data they have on old lines to the agency by October 2019. Companies will have a continuing obligation to provide the agency with any new information developed over time.

Recognizing that many pipelines are impossible to find with current techniques, the Commission also established a new task force which will spend the next year reviewing inspection technology to detect leaks and locate existing lines.

Here is a link to the Commission staff’s presentation at the February 13 hearing which outlines the rule changes.


This post was drafted by John Watson, an attorney in the Denver, CO office of Spencer Fane LLP. For more information, visit spencerfane.com.