Enbridge Inc. said Wednesday that there is no timeline for returning to service a section of its Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) system that was badly damaged in an explosion this week in southeast Ohio.
The blast, which occurred early Monday on Tetco’s 30-inch diameter Line 10 south of the Berne, OH, compressor station in Noble County has cut flows by about 1.4 Bcf/d and by 2.2 Bcf/d compared to the 30-day maximum, according to Genscape Inc., which also noted that basis in the M2 Market Zone declined in Tuesday’s trading, likely as a result of the incident.
Tetco said in an update on its billboard late Tuesday that flows through the Berne compressor would be reduced to zero. Westward capacity restriction on the system has since been lifted, the company added.
Enbridge said that crews have started work to help further secure the site of the blast, which injured two residents and damaged three nearby homes. The company said that it has isolated two other natural gas pipelines in the right-of-way, allowing personnel to safely investigate the integrity of those lines before returning them to service. The company is also conducting environmental monitoring and performing survey work to help determine the cause of the incident and the return-to-service plan.
“We remain sensitive to our shippers’ responsibilities and will continue to keep them informed as work progresses,” Enbridge said.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the basin in southeast Pennsylvania, yet another sinkhole formed near the Mariner East 1 pipeline in Chester County’s West Whiteland Township last Sunday. The incident prompted Sunoco Pipeline LP and state regulators to again shut down operations on the 70,000 b/d ethane and propane pipeline.
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) spokesman Nils Hagen-Frederiksen said a seven-mile section of the pipeline around the incident site, located in the backyard of a home on Lisa Drive, is being purged of product.
Sinkholes formed in the same neighborhood early last year, prompting regulators to shut down the line at that time. The PUC eventually lifted the order after its Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement (I&E) was satisfied by the surveys, analysis and corrective actions undertaken by Sunoco. Other regulatory issues saw service stopped on ME 1 for nearly three months last year.
Hagen-Frederiksen said PUC engineers and geologists have been on site since the incident was reported over the weekend. Local emergency management officials said a damaged water-drainage system caused the sinkhole. The line won’t be restarted until the I&E authorizes it. Sunoco is currently working to stabilize and test the line.
ME 1 entered service in the 1930s to move refined products, but was repurposed and began moving natural gas liquids (NGL) about three years ago. After two years of regulatory and legal delays, partial service on a companion line, ME 2, recently started. The start of operations on a third line, ME 2X, have been pushed back to later this year.
ME 2 and 2X run parallel for about 350 miles to move NGLs from processing facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex near Philadelphia for domestic and international distribution. ME 1 follows a similar path to move liquids from one side of the state to the other.
“Collectively, these lines are considered key to enabling liquids production growth and stimulate ethane recovery” in the region, “creating a way for liquids to reach export markets,” Genscape said in a separate note to clients on Wednesday. “We currently estimate the Northeast is rejecting roughly 0.5 Bcf/d of ethane into the natural gas stream.”
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