Anadarko Petroleum has ceased operations at more than 3,000 oil wells in northeast Colorado after a home explosion in the town of Firestone earlier this month.

The wells will remain closed until they are thoroughly inspected and tested.

Inspections carried out by field personnel will include the associated equipment such as facilities and underground lines linked to each of the wellheads, stated the Texas-based petroleum and natural gas company.

Anadarko Petroleum said that the decision was taken as a matter of caution as the vertical wells were of similar age as that of the Firestone gas well.

On April 17, a tragic explosion in a Colorado house was linked to a nearby gas well operated by Anadarko Petroleum. The exact cause of the explosion though is still under investigation.

Anadarko Petroleum stated: “While there is still much that is not yet known regarding the potential contributing factors, Anadarko operates an older vertical well that was drilled by a previous operator in 1993 and is located approximately 200 feet from where the home was recently built.

“As such, the company has been working cooperatively with fire officials and state regulatory agencies in their investigations since the time of the accident.”

The wells, which produce a combined tally of 13,000 net barrels of oil equivalent per day, will restart operations only after each of them had undergone and cleared the additional inspections.

According to Anadarko, the whole inspection process could take anywhere between two to four weeks based on the weather conditions.

The company said that its inspection process will pay special attention on areas where residential and commercial developments are occurring in close proximity to its existing gas well infrastructure.

Image: Anadarko’s operations in Colorado. Photo: courtesy of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.