A 10-inch diameter pipeline lateral carrying ethane-propane mix from Enterprise Products Partners' Mid-America Pipeline System in Illinois exploded shortly before midnight Monday. The natural gas liquids (NGL) product burned, creating a large fire that has since been extinguished. No injuries were reported.
Enterprise spokesman Rick Rainey told NGI the cause of the rupture and explosion of the Morris, IL, lateral was unknown. An eight-mile segment of the lateral has been shut in.
Lyondell Chemical Co's plant in Morris receives supplies from the lateral. It is one of the largest petrochemical facilities in the Midwest, according to the company's website. Using NGLs as a feedstock, the plant manufactures ethylene. "We have been able to avoid a process interruption at Morris as a result of the Enterprise issue because we have alternate avenues for receiving ethane into Morris," a company spokesman told NGI.
The explosion occurred in a corn field. About 20 area residents were evacuated but had returned to their homes as of Tuesday morning. The lateral runs underground where the explosion occurred. Rainey said he was unaware of any excavation in the area and that is one question that will be addressed during an investigation.
Nearly three years ago, a Railroad Commission of Texas investigation found a unit of Enterprise as well as C&H Power Line Construction of Oklahoma to be at fault for a June 7, 2010 pipeline explosion and fire in the Barnett Shale of North Texas (see Daily GPI, Sept. 3, 2010). In February 2011, Enterprise natural gas liquids facilities at Mont Belvieu, TX, experienced a series of explosions (seeDaily GPI, Feb. 18, 2011).