Daily GPI / Infrastructure

Repairs Completed on Oneok Viking Pipeline; Cause Still Unknown

Repairs were completed Wednesday and local natural gas utility service began to be restored in the far northwest corner of Minnesota, following a rupture and explosion Monday on a portion of Oneok Partners LP's 24-inch diameter Viking Gas Transmission Pipeline (see Daily GPI, May 27).

"Viking has completed all repairs and has completed all re-pressure activities," an Oneok spokesperson told NGI on Thursday, adding that the cause of the incident was still under investigation.

The early morning incident during the Memorial Day weekend knocked out gas distribution service to three small communities in the immediate area in Marshall County. No injuries were reported, and Viking began its recovery plan early on Tuesday.

The Viking pipeline begins at an intersection with TransCanada Corp. in Manitoba near the U.S.-Canadian border, running through central Minnesota into central Wisconsin. Near the site of the rupture it provides supplies to utilities serving the towns of Argyle, Warren and Thief River Falls, MN.

"Argyle and Warren utilities began relighting customers Wednesday night," the Oneok spokesperson said. "We do not know yet the cost associated with the incident."

The incident involved an explosion and fire that sent flames leaping more than 100 feet in the air, according to local news reports. A 15-foot deep crater was left by the force of the rupture. Six or seven families living within two miles of the rupture had to be evacuated.

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