Major New Natural Gas Pipeline Explodes in Marshall County

by Duane Nichols on June 8, 2018

Leach Xpress 30 inch Pipeline explodes in WV

Explosion on Marshall County gas line heard and seen for miles

From an Article by Chris Lawrence in WV Metro News, June 07, 2018

Photo: Flames shoot hundreds of feet into the air until gas service was cut off following explosion Thursday morning

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — The cause of a gas line explosion in Marshall County from early Thursday morning remained under investigation hours after the ensuing fire was out. Investigators from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and Trans-Canada remained on the scene Thursday.

The blast happened along Trans-Canada’s Midstream Pipeline around 4 a.m. Thursday. The fire cast a glow hundreds of feet into the air which was seen and heard for miles. When the sun rose, the immediate area of the explosion and fire revealed the results of the intense heat from the blaze.

“There were calls going into Ohio County, Wetzel County and across the river in Belmont and Monroe County, Ohio and also into Greene and Washington Counties in Pennsylvania,” said Marshall County Emergency Services Director Tom Hart. “It could be heard and seen for miles and a lot of people could actually feel the roar and said it was like an airplane going over their house.”

Fortunately, the explosion happened in a rural area where there were no homes or other structures. Although there were a few people in the vicinity of the blast, nobody was hurt. According to Hart, the line hadn’t been in service very long.

“There are parts of it that were still under construction,” said Hart. “It was a fairly new line and it was a 36 inch line.”

TransCanada was able to shut down the pressure on the line remotely which allowed the fire to burn out. Firefighters surrounded and secured the area, but since it was in a remote location and posed no threat to property or people, Hart said they simply stood back until the subsequent fire burned off.

“We were very fortunate there were no injuries involved in this incident and it was in a rural location and not in a heavily populated area in Marshall County,” Hart said.

TransCanada released the following statement Thursday afternoon:

At approximately 4:15 a.m. Eastern Time on June 7, 2018 there was a natural gas pipeline rupture on TransCanada’s Columbia Gas Transmission System on Nixon Ridge in Marshall County, West Virginia.

As soon as the issue was identified, emergency response procedures were enacted and the segment of impacted pipeline was isolated shortly after. The fire was fully extinguished by approximately 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. There were no injuries involved with this incident.

The cause of this issue is not yet known. The site of the incident has been secured and we are beginning the process of working with applicable regulators to investigate, including the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Ten acres burned over in northern panhandle

Photo: Drone footage from the aftermath of an explosion on a TransCanada pipeline in Marshall County Thursday morning

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WTRF News 7 June 8, 2018 at 8:58 pm

Neighbors worry pipeline explosion could happen again

From Kathryn Ghion, WTRF News 7, June 8, 2018

MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. — As you heard Thursday morning on News 7, it was an alarming wakeup for residents in the Nixon Ridge area of Marshall County.

Around 4:15 a.m., they heard a loud noise and awoke to flames as a TransCanada natural gas pipeline exploded.

Several families 7News spoke to have lived off of Fish Creek Road for decades and could see those flames from their homes.

While the physical damage to their homes isn’t much, they say the emotional damage might be worse. The incident scared all of them and now residents worry it will happen again.

“We have kids, you know they live here,” said Jason Steed.”We’re worried about them. It blew up once, what’s to say it won’t happen again.”

That’s still on the minds of many residents who spent the morning afraid flames would come closer to their homes.

“We were just thinking, what was gonna happen?” said Raymond Steed. “Is it gonna come over the hill or is it not? We just didn’t have a clue. Extremely scary, I didn’t know what was gonna happen.”

“I thought it was a tornado or it sounded like an earthquake to some but it was loud and scary,” added Jim Wilson, whose lived in the area for nearly two decades.

The families say their damage is minimal, mainly some displaced roofing, but they are worried about the charred leaves and soot that fell onto the property.

TransCanada told News 7 that representatives spent the afternoon knocking on doors to assess the situation and leave contact information for those who had questions, but neighbors we spoke with say they haven’t heard from anyone.

“They gotta do something,” added Jason Steed, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years. “Nobody had said anything to us and you know we’re still in the dark. We don’t know what happened.”)

And they want to know what’s being done to keep this from happening again.

“I’ve been concerned since they started,” Wilson said. “I knew it was gonna happen. It was just a matter of time when and where is the next one gonna happen and how bad’s it gonna be.”

Marshall County EMA Director Tom Hart said anyone with damage can contact the West Virginia DEP at 304-238-1220.



Reuters News June 10, 2018 at 10:15 pm

No natgas flows through West Virginia Leach Xpress, producers use other pipes

Article from Scott DiSavino, Reuters News Service, June 8, 2018

(Reuters) – TransCanada Corp said on Friday it cannot move natural gas until further notice through the section of its Leach Xpress pipeline in West Virginia that ruptured early Thursday, prompting customers to seek other pipelines to ship their gas.

Alternative pipelines to route production around the outage included Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Rover, Tallgrass Energy Partners LP’s Rockies Express (REX), EQT Midstream Partners LP’s Equitrans and Enbridge Inc’s Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco), analysts at S&P Global Platts said in a note.

The blast that shut the pipe did not cause any injuries and was contained Thursday morning, TransCanada said.

Columbia Gas Transmission (TCO), the TransCanada subsidiary that operates the pipe, declared a force majeure on Thursday and said the damaged section of pipe could affect movement of about 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd). One billion cubic feet a day is enough gas for about 5 million U.S. homes.

Despite the pipeline shutdown, overall output in the Marcellus and Utica shale gas region of Appalachia increased to 27.4 bcfd on Thursday from 27.3 bcfd on Wednesday, according to Thomson Reuters data.

U.S. oil and gas exploration company Range Resources Corp, which uses the Leach pipeline to transport its gas to market, said on Thursday it expects to temporarily lose access to its 0.3 bcfd of capacity on the pipe.

As it reroutes gas to other pipes, Range said it does not anticipate impacts to production volumes and also said it currently expects the impact to second quarter cash flow to be minimal.

S&P Global Platts said several gas producers whose gas normally flows on the Columbia system reported just minor impacts, including Southwestern Energy Co, which like Range said it was utilizing a variety of pipelines in the area to get its production to market.

The Leach shutdown caused Appalachia prices to trade in opposite directions on Thursday, with TCO up about 11 cents, while Dominion South dropped about 39 cents, according to data from SNL, another unit of S&P Global.

The 1.5-bcfd Leach Xpress in West Virginia and Ohio, which entered full service at the start of this year, transports gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to consumers in the U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast.

The 12,000-mile (19,312-kilometer) Columbia pipeline system, which TransCanada acquired in 2016, serves millions of customers from New York to the Gulf of Mexico.



Update Note June 27, 2018 at 8:07 pm

Leach XPress to resume operations in July

By Sara Welch, Shale Gas Reporter, June 20, 2018

TransCanada Corp’s Columbia Gas Transmission (TCO) unit estimates that the damaged section of the Leach XPress Pipeline will resume operations early in July, according to Reuters.

In order to mend the pipeline, which was damaged in a blast on June 7 in Marshall County, West Virginia, the company continues to work with federal pipeline safety regulators on a repair plan. In the meantime, TransCanada will reduce capacity to zero on parts of the Leach line in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, impacting scheduled volumes at the Stagecoach-Leach Xpress meter in Monroe County near the Ohio-West Virginia border.

That meter, which connects Leach to EQT Midstream Partners LP’s Strike Force South gathering fields in Monroe and Belmont counties in Ohio, returned to service late last week.


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