Energy firm fined $50,000 for pit violations at fatality site
A Denver-based company will pay a fine of $50,000 under a settlement over alleged violations involving operations of a wastewater pit at an oil and gas site where a worker died in an explosion in January.
Axia Energy agreed to the fine under an agreement with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The commission approved the settlement this week without comment as a consent agenda item.
At issue was Axia’s operation of a pit at a site north of Craig. COGCC staff had inspected it in December, and did so again after a Jan. 3 accident when a 300-barrel storage tank exploded there, killing Jon Herod, 49, an employee of Herod Industries of Craig.
The resulting fire burned pit liners down to the fluid line, but COGCC staff alleged that Axia had indicated the upper liner might have been previously compromised.
Under the settlement, Axia is paying fines of $10,000 apiece for five alleged rule violations, covering areas such as leaks, a lack of wildlife netting/fencing at the pit and a failure to remove oil and/or condensate from it within 24 hours.
Axia has taken issue with some of the allegations, and admits to no wrongdoing under the settlement.
While the accident contributed to discovery of the pit issues, authorities didn’t link them to it.