Colorado Senate Bill 181 – Rule Making in the Wake of the Firestone Tragedy

Colorado Senate Bill 181 – Rule Making in the Wake of the Firestone Tragedy

Rules adopted by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) at the end of November 2019 in response to the passage of SB-181, is directing the oil and gas industry to provide maps of flowline and gathering system infrastructure never before required to be documented or identified.  This overarching documentation of underground assets for oil and gas operators may introduce a false sense of security to citizens potentially affected by there presence near their businesses and homes. While there have been regulatory statutes under the 811 call before you dig systems, the technology offered by the 811 systems locators may not provide an accurate picture of the existing infrastructure in any given location, due primarily to the limitations of currently available technology.  

For many years oil and gas operating companies developed the fields near their wells, burying flow and gathering lines to collect and accumulate the recovered products for distribution to larger and more regulated facilities or underground pipelines.  These lines consist of miles and miles of unregulated pipe generally located near or within the properly defined boundaries of a developed area or field, and can be of a variety of materials, pipe sizes, and connection types.  And while following generalized guidelines, which may not be accurately defined or documented in historical terms, the operators themselves may not have exact locations of these lines, because in most cases they were considered “temporary use” assets.  Once a well head or group of wells were depleted they may have been shut-in or abandoned, leaving the piping in place but no longer connected to an operating well head. 

Prior regulations did not require removal or historical documentation of these subterranean assets for future reference.   The subsequent condition and location may not be possible to discover with today’s technology and more invasive processes will come at a very high cost and certain risk to the prior owner or future developer.  This is what the new rules coming from SB-181 are trying to rectify.

Cartacoustics technology offers a complete  solution to locating underground assets of all sizes, types, and depths of infrastructure previously unattainable by current technology.  Should you need to provide documentation to meet the rules of SB-181 in the state of Colorado, contact us at info@cartacoustics.com or call Joe Vickrey at 303-808-3010 to discuss your needs.