By Sydney McDonald
Broomfield officials have issued a notice of a potential breach to Extraction Oil & Gas regarding a March 12 fire at Interchange Pad A.
An email from City and County Manager Jennifer Hoffman, which was sent Monday and released three days later on Broomfield’s Oil and Gas Snapshot, stated that city officials believe the March 12 incident shed light on a breach of the operator agreement on Extraction’s part.
“Broomfield staff, elected officials and residents are extremely concerned about fire danger from oil and gas operations,” Hoffman wrote in the email. “This concern has only increased given the incidents that occurred on Nov. 9, 2021 (fire caused by failure to maintain mud/gas separator cleanout) and Jan. 14, 2022 (smoke plume caused by a separator valve malfunction).”
The email from Hoffman requested that Extraction should confirm in writing “the steps it is taking to address the human error documented by the Root Cause Analysis.”
“Broomfield recognizes that Extraction/Civitas has modified the separator, moving the port from the bottom to the side. Although this design improvement has benefits, the original design should not plug if properly maintained,” the email reads. “It is clear to Broomfield that human failure in maintenance and monitoring caused this fire.”
The email also demands that Extraction update the 2018 Risk Management Plan to “specifically address increased wildfire risks.”
Steven Emmen, community and government affairs coordinator at Civitas Resources, said Civitas couldn’t provide comment on the matter.
“We appreciate the opportunity to address this matter, but we generally refrain from publicly discussing legal matters,” Emmen wrote in a response to the Enterprise.