Fire Reported on Valve Equipment for Ethane Pipeline in Washington County, PA

by Nicole Good on October 21, 2021

Mark West pipeline explosion & fire in 2018

Lightning Strikes Williams Valve Station in Buffalo Township of Washington County, PA

From an Article in the Marcellus Drilling News, June 22, 2021

A fire broke out at a Williams pipeline valve station located in Buffalo Township in Washington County, PA following a reported lightning strike. The fire was small and contained and Williams’ workers were able to quickly put it out. No one in the surrounding area needed to be evacuated, and no one was injured. Whew. (This occurred this past summer in June of 2021.)

We’ve reached out to Williams for a copy of the statement they issued to Pittsburgh’s WTAE television station (so far we haven’t received it). We could find only a single story about this. We don’t know for sure which pipeline was affected, but we have a good idea. The story below says it is Williams’ ethane pipeline.

You may not remember (we didn’t until we searched our own archives) that Williams operates the Ohio Valley Ethane pipeline, a 50-mile ethane pipeline from Marshall County, WV to an ethane hub in Houston (Washington County), PA. In late 2014 there was an explosion at a meter station along that pipeline in Chartiers Township (see Explosion, Fire at Meter Station Along Williams Ethane Pipeline in SWPA). [See also the NOTE below.]

Here’s the sum total of what we currently know that a fire broke out at a natural gas facility in Washington County on Monday evening. The fire happened at the Williams Ethane Pipeline valve station located along Pleasant Valley Road in Buffalo Township. In a statement, Williams Energy said the fire was apparently caused by a lightning strike at the plant but will be fully determined on Tuesday. Workers at the plant were able to extinguish the fire and no one in the area had to be evacuated.

“When people think of fires on gas lines, they think of big, catastrophic incidents. We’re very lucky this was a small line on the side of a valve set that was not releasing large amounts of gas. There was no immediate hazards to the immediate area or the local community,” said Ryan Frazee, the county’s acting public safety director.

No one was injured. Williams Energy will evaluate the site and local regulators will make sure the facility is safe.

See also: Pittsburgh (PA) WTAE-TV (Jun 22, 2021)Crews respond to 2-alarm fire at natural gas facility in Washington County


NOTE: “Man dies from injuries sustained in explosion at MarkWest facility in Washington County”

By Luke Torrance, Pittsburgh Business Times, December 20, 2018

A man who was critically injured in an explosion at MarkWest facility last week has died, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner.

Jeffrey Fisher, 61, of Salem, W.Va., was one of four workers injured last week after an incident near two temporary tanks that were on-site for routine maintenance led to an explosion. The men were working at the MarkWest facility in Washington, Pa., which is owned by Marathon Petroleum.

The explosion led to a fire which was put down by at least eight fire departments and a HAZMAT team. Four workers, including Fisher, were flown to two Pittsburgh hospitals: UPMC Mercy and West Penn. Fisher was listed as in critical condition. He died at UPMC Mercy on Tuesday afternoon.

“We are deeply saddened that one of the contract employees injured during the Dec. 13 incident at our Houston, Pennsylvania, facility has died of his injuries,” Marathon Petroleum said in a statement. “We continue working with federal, state and local agencies to investigate the incident. Protecting the health and safety of workers and the communities where we’re privileged to operate is our highest priority, and we work hard to ensure incidents like this never occur. We pray for the family of our colleague and mourn his passing.”

[Photo above shows the explosion & fire from ethane pipeline at the large Mark West processing plant in Houston, PA in 2018. Four were injured, one critically. (Southwestern Pennsylvania ... SWPA)]

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Shorty Long October 22, 2021 at 5:10 pm


The wet gas zone is that zone within the Marcellus shale region where the natural
gas produced by horizontal drilling and super hydraulic fracking is unusually high
in ethane, propane and butane. For example, the composition might be 80 percent
methane, 7% ethane, 2% propane, 1% propane and a few other compounds.

We are talking about only a few counties in West Virginia, namely Doddridge, Tyler, Wetzel and Marshall. Greene and Washington counties in Pennsylvania are in this wet zone. Also included are boarding counties in Ohio, perhaps Monroe and Belmont.

More later?


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