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Some NatGas Flowing Through Delmont Compressor After Tetco Blast

Spectra Energy Corp. said late Monday that it has restored partial physical capacity through the Delmont compressor station less than two weeks after a portion of the Texas Eastern (Tetco) pipeline exploded and caught fire in Southwest Pennsylvania.

The incident occurred April 29 on Tetco's Penn-Jersey Line in the M3 Zone, cutting flows upstream through the Delmont compressor to zero for about 10 days, which impacted flows eastward (see Shale DailyApril 29). One of four parallel lines at the site of the incident ruptured, forcing Spectra to shut-in the other three out of caution. Spokesman Creighton Welch said Spectra completed an integrity test on its 30-inch Line 19 on Monday, restoring nearly 1.2 Bcf/d of capacity through Delmont for gas day May 10.

The 30-inch Line 27, which ruptured, along with the 36-inch Line 28 and the 24-inch Line 12, which was offline for maintenance at the time of the incident, all remain shut-in and depressurized. In a notice on Monday, Tetco said it is still unclear when full capacity through Delmont would be available. The station was designed for a peak capacity of 2.6 Bcf/d.

In the five days before the blast, though, flows through Delmont averaged 1.07 Bcf/d, including a peak of 1.36 Bcf/d on April 27 (see Shale DailyMay 2). Due to a Force Majeure that remains in effect, Tetco has restricted interruptible and secondary out of path nominations that exceed entitlements flowing through Delmont. Tetco said in its notice on Monday that it would not allow any increases in receipts sourced from points west of Delmont for delivery to points east of Delmont on the Penn-Jersey Line.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) authorized Line 19's restart after Spectra concluded a series of tests. The company said it took measurements to ensure no deformation of the pipe; x-rayed welds that connect the pipe's segments; inspected the coating for damage from heat exposure; and conducted a leak study that all confirmed the line was not damaged in the explosion and fire.

The cause of the incident remains unknown, but PHMSA said in a corrective action order it issued last week that the preliminary investigation had revealed evidence of corrosion along two of the affected pipe's circumferential welds, including at the point of failure and on another excavated piece (see Shale DailyMay 4). Those segments have been sent to a metallurgist for examination and failure analysis.

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