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Elk Hills Pipeline Rupture Shuts in 288 MMcf/d

Occidental Petroleum said about 288 MMcf/d of gas production remains shut in at Elk Hills, the former Naval Petroleum Reserve, north of Bakersfield, CA, in the San Joaquin Valley because of a gas pipeline rupture, explosion and fire on Tuesday.

"The fires are out now, but the field is still 95% shut down," said Occidental spokesman Lawrence Meriage. "It was averaging approximately 120,000 boe/d, with about 60% oil and 40% gas. We don't know what caused the incident. It was a pipeline leak and then an explosion. Four contract workers were injured. Three were treated and released, but one had some serious burns and is [still hospitalized] in stable condition."

Meriage said it's still unclear when repairs would be completed and service restored.

Sempra Energy said its Elk Hills gas-fired power plant went off line after the explosion. The 552 MW plant was not damaged by the explosion but was shut down because of the loss of fuel.

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