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Leach XPress Back in Service, With 1 Bcf-Plus Scheduled for Monday

Columbia Gas Transmission LLC (TCO) has completed repair work and restored service on Leach XPress more than a month after the pipeline exploded in Marshall County, WV.

The company told customers over the weekend that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) approved flows on the line, allowing it to lift the force majeure it declared last month.

The Stagecoach and LXPSEG meters were returned to service last week. Gibraltar III, Majorsville-LXP and Eureka have also been restored, while LoneOak A has been restored to non-firm capacity. Genscape Inc. analyst Vanessa Witte told clients on Monday that all locations showed nominations effective Sunday with the exception of Gibraltar III. Before the explosion,  Leach XPress was flowing on average 1.4 Bcf/d, she said, and 1.15 Bcf/d was scheduled for Monday as of evening cycle nominations.

The 1.5 Bcf/d, 36-inch Leach XPress came online in January to expand TCO and move Appalachian natural gas primarily to the Southeast and Gulf Coast via an interconnect with the broader system and parent TransCanada Corp.’s Rayne XPress, which entered service last year. Most of the line has been shut-in since June when the explosion occurred, ejecting 83 feet of the system from the ditch into the right-of-way, according to an incident report TCO filed with PHMSA.

While 165 MMcf of natural gas was lost in the incident, the company was able to reroute most of the volumes onto other pipelines during repairs. TCO said in the report that a landslide most likely caused the explosion, but an investigation is ongoing.

Inclement weather had forced the company to push back its initial timeline for restoration from early to mid-July.

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