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Leach XPress Service Tentatively to Restart Next Month

Columbia Gas Transmission LLC (TCO) said based on its current repair schedule for Leach XPress, which was damaged in an explosion earlier this month, it now expects to return the pipeline to service sometime in early July.

TransCanada Corp. subsidiary TCO said in a notice to shippers on Monday that it continues to work with the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration on a repair and restoration plan. Volumes on the 1.5 Bcf/d Leach XPress expansion, which primarily serves the Southeast and Gulf Coast, were knocked offline June 7 after the line exploded and caught fire. The cause of the incident is unclear.

TCO was able to bring back a small percentage of flows last week after it restored a segment that allowed the Stagecoach meter to return to service. Nominations through the meter reached about 200 MMcf/d after that. But the company said that after further investigation during repairs on the broader line, it would be forced to again reduce capacity to zero on Wednesday, impacting scheduled volumes at the Stagecoach meter.

A source close to the investigation, who asked to remain anonymous, told NGI last week that the blast damaged two joints, affecting about 80 feet of the pipeline. 

Genscape Inc. analysts Vanessa Witte and Colette Breshears said in a note to clients on Monday the firm conducted a flyover of the incident site last Friday. Photos show scorched earth and construction crews working in an area of dense forest where the explosion occurred. Photos showed crews have unearthed “several weld sections.”

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