Enbridge Inc. said it has mobilized equipment to begin removing a section of 22-inch diameter natural gas pipeline that exploded over the weekend in Smith County, TN.
Restoration efforts were expected to begin on the section of the 1,100-mile East Tennessee pipeline following the incident near Pleasant Shade, TN, which occurred about 2 p.m. CT Saturday.
“While there were no injuries or a fire that resulted from this, no incident is acceptable and we will work with the authorities to investigate its cause,” Enbridge said on its website.
There is no immediate timeline about when the line could be returned to service, spokesman Michael Barnes told NGI.
Enbridge personnel are in contact with the affected landowners and continue to coordinate with authorities. The company is also coordinating with customers during the temporary outage.
“Since the beginning, our priorities remain the safety of the community and protecting the environment,” Enbridge said.
Flows through the line were cut to zero immediately following the incident, but the line had averaged 300 MMcf/d and maxed at 346 MMcf/d through its Dixon Springs compressor station in Trousdale County, TN, for the two weeks before the explosion, according to Genscape Inc.
“East Tennessee’s northern line gets the majority of its supply through the El Paso-Ridgetop interconnect with Tennessee Gas Pipeline [TGP] in Robertson County, TN, backing that gas onto TGP Z1,” Genscape natural gas analyst Josh Garcia said.
Barnes said the outages had not led to natural gas shortages, “as we have been working with customers to manage deliveries by leveraging alternative sources.”
Although the explosion occurred in Smith County, the pipeline also declared a force majeure because of an unplanned outage at its Rural Retreat compressor station in Wythe County, VA.
Also Monday, Enbridge said it completed its previously announced acquisition of master limited partnership Spectra Energy Partners LP.