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Williams Gathering, Condensate Pipelines in West Virginia Damaged During Storm

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) confirmed that at least one condensate pipeline in Marshall County was damaged during inclement weather that rolled through the region late last week, causing a spill into a nearby creek.

WVDEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said it was unclear what caused the 4-inch condensate line to fail. But heavy rain and high winds caused damage, power outages and flooding in some parts of the region on Thursday. Gillenwater said the pipeline, which is operated by Williams Partners LP, leaked 132 bbl of condensate into the Little Grave Creek after it ruptured.

The company reported the incident to the National Response Center at about 10 p.m. on Thursday, prompting WVDEP to send an inspector. The pipeline was serving a Chevron Appalachia LLC well pad. Gillenwater said another 12-inch natural gas gathering line operated by Williams was damaged during the storms, but added that she was still waiting for an update about that incident. Williams could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Gillenwater said a private contractor had been hired by Williams to clean up the condensate spill. The agency is planning to issue at least one violation for "conditions not allowable in state waters." Gillenwater said other violations could be issued depending on what else inspectors discover at the site.

One year ago, Williams reported a rupture and fire on a separate 12-inch gathering line in Marshall County. That incident curtailed production at three sites in the region and was later discovered to be caused by inclement weather as well, when wet conditions caused land to shift beneath the pipeline (see Shale DailyApril 11, 2014April 8).

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