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State fines oil, gas company $2M after finding a pattern of violations

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State fines oil, gas company $2M after finding a pattern of violations

Regulators imposed a $2 million penalty on a Denver oil and gas company Tuesday for a series of violations to state rules.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission decided there was a pattern of violations by the family-owned K.P. Kauffman Co., causing the panel to increase the fine from $1.8 million. The $2 million penalty is the second-largest levied by the COGCC.

The company had faced losing its ability to operate in Colorado if the commission had decided to suspend a certificate needed to transport oil and gas from the well site and prohibited it from receiving new permits.

The COGCC fined Kerr McGee, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp., $18.25 million for its part in a 2017 house explosion in Firestone that killed two men and injured a woman. In 2018, the agency fined Noble Energy $1.6 million for violations.

“The decisions made today underscore the main goal for the COGCC as a regulator, which is for operators to be in compliance to ensure protections for public health, safety, welfare, wildlife and environmental resources,” the commission said in a statement about the K.P. Kauffman ruling.

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