Burned pieces of a house are seen in Firestone on Tuesday, April 17, 2017. More photos: TimesCall.com. Matthew Jonas/Longmont Times-Call, April 18, 2017

Occidental to pay record $18.25M fine to COGCC for 2017 Firestone explosion

DENVER and FIRESTONE — Occidental Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OXY) will pay an $18.25 million fine to Colorado’s oil and gas authorities for failing to prevent a 2017 gas line explosion that killed two people and injured two others in Firestone.

In a violation notice released Thursday morning, the COGCC accuses Occidental of failing to disconnect and maintain the safety of an abandoned gas line that was later cut and filtered natural gas into a home 6312 Twilight Ave. in Firestone. Occidental will not contest the fine, the company said.

The COGCC said the fine is the maximum allowed under law, and more than $7.5 million of the fine will go to various safety and monitoring projects across the Front Range. The Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District will also receive $50,000 to offset legal fees incurred in the investigation process.

On April 17, 2017, an explosion was triggered, killing homeowner Mark Martinez and his brother-in-law Joey Irwin while replacing a water heater at the home. Erin and Nathan Martinez, two other residents of the home, were injured in the blast.

The pipe was abandoned by Anadarko Petroleum, which Occidental acquired last year in a $55 billion deal. The National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation released last October determined the explosion was likely caused by the gas line being cut in 2015 while the home was being built.

Anadarko settled with the Martinez family in 2018 for an undisclosed amount.

In a statement, Occidental spokeswoman Jennifer Brice said the company would not contest the fine.

“Throughout this tragedy, Anadarko cooperated with all local and federal agencies that investigated the accident. In that same cooperative spirit, we will continue to work with the state, listen to our stakeholders and collaborate with the communities around us,” she said.

Houston-based Occidental is Weld County’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. It cut its quarterly dividends and capital spending earlier this week in response to a plummet in oil prices caused over the weekend after Saudi Arabia and Russia announced they would increase production.

DENVER and FIRESTONE — Occidental Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OXY) will pay an $18.25 million fine to Colorado’s oil and gas authorities for failing to prevent a 2017 gas line explosion that killed two people and injured two others in Firestone.

In a violation notice released Thursday morning, the COGCC accuses Occidental of failing to disconnect and maintain the safety of an abandoned gas line that was later cut and filtered natural gas into a home 6312 Twilight Ave. in Firestone. Occidental will not contest the fine, the company said.

The COGCC said the fine is the maximum allowed under law, and more than $7.5 million of the fine will go to various safety and monitoring projects across the Front Range. The Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District will also receive $50,000 to offset legal fees incurred in the investigation process.

On April 17, 2017, an explosion was triggered, killing homeowner Mark Martinez and his brother-in-law Joey Irwin while replacing a water heater at the home. Erin and Nathan Martinez, two other residents of the home, were injured in the blast.

The pipe was abandoned by Anadarko Petroleum, which Occidental acquired last year in a $55 billion deal. The National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation released last October determined the explosion was likely caused by the gas line being cut in 2015 while the home was being built.

Anadarko settled with the Martinez family in 2018 for an undisclosed amount.

In a statement, Occidental spokeswoman Jennifer Brice said the company would not contest the fine.

“Throughout…