Officials confirmed that no injuries had been reported, and that the evacuation was a precautionary measure.
“Everyone is being ordered to evacuate east of town,” county spokesperson Stephen Malik told KSL TV. "We’re working on long-term sheltering plans."
Opal is one several major natural gas hubs in the Rockies. Most of what's extracted is piped west to California, Nevada, Utah and Oregon.
Industry experts say that the major pipelines have built-in "redundancies" that allow for continued gas flow in the case of disruptions such as this.
It's not yet clear what caused the explosion, but the plant has a fire suppression team on the ready and emergency response units of nearby towns were apparently quick to assist.