Ethane Pipeline Explosion in Brooke County WV Affects PA & TX

by Duane Nichols on January 27, 2015

ATEX Ruptures, Limiting Key Appalachian Ethane Deliveries

From an Article by Jamison Cocklin, NGI News Daily, January 26, 2015

A section of Enterprise Products Partners LP’s (EPP) Appalachia-to-Texas Express (ATEX) pipeline, which entered commercial service a year ago, ruptured and caught fire early Monday, limiting service on a critical ethane outlet that serves the Marcellus and Utica shales, a company spokesman said.

The incident occurred at about 10:40 a.m. EST on a 20-inch diameter section of the pipeline in Brooke County, WV, roughly 50 miles west of Pittsburgh, said EPP spokesman Rick Rainey. According to local news media reports, residents in the area reported seeing a large fireball burst into the sky. Although emergency responders from several different agencies in the region had responded and managed to gain control of the blast, the fire was still burning Monday afternoon. Authorities planned to let the fire extinguish itself.

“Our controllers detected an abnormal pressure drop at a pump station in Brooke County, WV, and then shortly afterward it was confirmed we did have a rupture on the pipeline,” Rainey said. “We then began to immediately isolate the pipeline and dispatched personnel to work with local emergency responders to secure the area.”

The 1,265-mile ATEX began commercial service in January 2014. It originates in Washington County, PA, in a liquids-rich portion of the Marcellus Shale and terminates at EPP’s Mont Belvieu, TX, complex. It has a capacity of 125,000 b/d, and at the time it was commissioned, EPP said that 65,000 b/d were already contracted.

The pipeline has four injection points and two were impacted by the blast. Rainey said deliveries are still being made downstream of the rupture site, but those coming from Washington County have been limited. He added that it was unclear what caused the rupture. The section that exploded, Rainey said, was part of a 369-mile segment that was only recently built for the system.

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said the agency had dispatched an inspector to the scene, but added that the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has jurisdiction because ATEX is an interstate line. PHMSA officials could not be reached to comment.

No injuries were reported in the blast and the Brooke County Sheriff’s Department said only one nearby home was evacuated as a precaution. Rainey said EPP has mobilized equipment and personnel that “will commence repairs once it’s safe to do so” and after PHMSA allows it.

NOTE:  West Virginia Gas Pipeline Explodes, Marking Fourth Major Pipeline Incident This Month


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle Mallamo January 28, 2015 at 10:35 am


We don’t need it nor do we want it! Renewable energy will give us the future we need in order to live for many generations on this earth! The dangers of these pipelines are immense!

Do the right thing! No more pipelines!


Two MS Pipelines Explode January 28, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Natural gas pipeline explosion in Smith County, Mississippi

From an Article of the Jackson Clarion Ledger, January 26, 2015

Officials say there has been a natural gas line explosion in Smith County off County Road 539 west of Raleigh, Mississippi.

Sheriff Charlie Crumpton said there are no injuries and everyone is accounted for. ”We do have a massive fire going and a company is coming from Texas to take care of the fire,” Crumpton said.

County EMA Director Brian Warren said the gas line belongs to Pan Southern Petroleum, and at this point nobody is allowed inside the perimeter of the fire scene.

There are currently about five fire departments on scene battling the blaze. Locals are reporting the explosion is in Boykin Church oil field, where allegedly there is natural gas and oil.

Warren said the gas is not toxic, but at this point since the fire can’t be immediately extinguished, officials are waiting on the outside company to come put the fire out. As far as he knows, there are no structures threatened by the fire, Crumpton said.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency stated on their Facebook page that the natural gas well caught fire when a piece of equipment over the well-head exploded. All five workers escaped unharmed.

MDEQ has implemented emergency procedures to protect a nearby creek including constructing a berm, adding a silt fence, and boom in the water, according to a release by Communications Director Robbie Wilbur.

Last week, a natural gas line exploded in Rankin County, Mississippi. Again, there were no injuries and no structures were involved.

See also:


Gas Pipeline Fire at Riverside CA January 28, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Pipeline catches fire off I-215 near Riverside, California

Article by Michael Watanabe, Staff Writer, Riverside Press Enterprise, January 23, 2015

A 6-inch natural gas pipeline caught fire Friday, January 23rd, in the unincorporated area of Highgrove north of Riverside, California, prompting the closure of Interstate 215 freeway ramps, fire officials said. No evacuations were ordered and no one was injured.

The break in the pipeline was reported at 10:07 a.m. at Center Street at Interstate 215, according to a Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department news release.

Freeway on ramps and off ramps in the area were closed, the release said. Officials remained on scene until 4 p.m., when the substance inside the pipe had burned off.

The California state Fire Marshal office was investigating the incident to determine the owner of the pipeline.


Texas City Oil Pipeline Fire January 28, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Pipeline fire shuts down FM 2004 in Texas City

Article from Galveston Daily News, January 14, 2015

TEXAS CITY — Crews on Wednesday afternoon battled an oil pipeline fire. Officials said that a pump station that is part of an oil pipeline on the city’s northwest side caught fire at about 12:45 p.m. Fire crews had the blaze out by about 1:45 p.m.

Derek Duckett, the city’s emergency management coordinator said the fire did not pose a risk to anyone in the community. There were no calls for shelter-in-place or evacuations.

The fire was in an area located near FM 2004 between FM 1764 and state Highway 3 in Texas City. Police closed off FM 2004 from Central Park Road to Highway 3 as crews try to get to the fire.

The road re-opened at about 1:45 p.m. and the fire was put out a few minutes later. That section of FM 2004 is mostly industrial and vacant land.

Duckett said about 100 to 200 gallons of oil spilled, Duckett said. He could not confirm what type of oil was released. Initially crews were told it was crude oil.

The city reported the fire and spill to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The pipeline belongs to Sawtooth Inc. Duckett said. Attempts to reach company officials were unsuccessful on Wednesday.

Texas City fire officials said that company officials reported that there had been issues with the pump station over the weekend.


Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: