Today, Sunday, March 13, Extraction/Civitas will restart oil and gas operations between 5-7 p.m. at the Interchange A Pad near 156th and Huron, after a fire and operational shutdown occurred on Saturday, March 12.
Extraction/Civitas delivered to the City and County of Broomfield (CCOB), per Best Management Practice (BMP) 51 of the Operator Agreement, a Notification Summary of the incident, which the City Attorney’s Office has determined meets the report requirements of BMP 51 and allows operations to resume, as there was no structural damage on the scene.
CCOB and North Metro Fire (NMFD) will have crews on-site prior to and throughout the restarting process. The COGCC will be onsite Monday morning to assess after being notified separately by CCOB and Extraction/Civitas.
Extraction/Civitas said a function test of the source equipment (a gas combustor) is scheduled for later this afternoon (Sunday) while wells are shut down and no active drilling is occurring. Again, CCOB Inspectors and NMFD staff will be onsite for this test and any subsequent restart of normal operations, currently anticipated between 5 - 7 p.m today.
While the Notification Summary will not replace a full after-action report and root cause analysis, which is expected within 7 business days, it does report the cause to be, in COGCC’s terms, “Upset condition occurred during drilling operations that sent some hydrocarbons to the combustor.”
Staff requested additional procedural information from NMFD Chief Dave Ramos regarding best management practices for responding to a structural fire, as reported to dispatch.
Chief Ramos said when NMFD receives an initial report of a structure fire they dispatch 4 engines, 1 ladder truck, 2 ambulances, 2 Battalion Chiefs, and a safety officer (which he described as what some residents saw). While en route to Interchange A pad, and once to the scene, the lead engine crew (in this case, engine 66) assessed the situation, and made the determination of the level of response needed. Upon arrival and scene assessment, he said it was determined that outside of engine 66, no other NMFD equipment/personnel was required as the fire had been contained by Extraction/Civitas, so the other crews were informed and 'called off'.
Thus, the initial notice from NMFD and CCOB indicated that one engine responded to the scene.
Saturday, March 12, 2022 - Thank you for your patience while we worked with the City and County of Broomfield (CCOB) Oil and Gas Inspector, North Metro Fire (NMFD), and site operator, EXO/Civitas, to get a better understanding of what happened at the oil and gas Interchange A well pad near 156th and Huron this afternoon.
NMFD said that at 4:45 p.m, fire crews were dispatched to the Interchange A Pad after reports came in of black smoke in the area. NMFD said they dispatched one engine, and as a precaution, the roads immediately adjacent to the Interchange A Pad were closed.
NMFD field crews reported “a small fire”, and indicated “…that no structures were threatened and no other hazards were present…”. After review and inspection, NMFD said no additional units were needed.
All drilling operations at the Interchange Pad A were and remain shut down, according to EXO/Civitas officials, who said they expect the drilling operations to be shut down until sometime tomorrow afternoon, Sunday, March 13.
As promised in January, EXO/Civitas is to provide advanced notification to CCOB and NMFD prior to restarting a facility resulting from any emergency shut down requiring reparative action. CCOB plans to be on-site tomorrow, or when the restart process occurs.
As noted above, City and County of Broomfield staff, including an Oil and Gas Inspector who arrived on the scene immediately after notification, has been in constant contact with EXO/Civitas and NMFD.
EXO/Civitas said they will be conducting and sharing a root cause report and analysis, which is designed to be a thorough after-action document, to be completed during the next 7-10 days.
City and County of Broomfield staff have requested a hold on operations until the root cause report is completed, however, EXO/Civitas said that given that there was no structural damage to the equipment, they plan on resuming operations tomorrow, Sunday, March 13.
The City and County of Broomfield’s Attorney’s Office is also reviewing the operator’s agreement application related to this event.
More information will be shared as it becomes available.