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Tetco Explosion in Ohio Cuts 1 Bcf/d-Plus of Gas Flow

Natural gas flows on Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) were cut by more than 1 Bcf/d after an explosion in southeast Ohio rocked the system on Monday, with the effects being immediately felt as far south as Louisiana, according to one estimate.

Genscape Inc. said Tuesday day/day (d/d) flows were cut by up to 1.48 Bcf on Tetco’s 30-inch diameter Line 10 south of the Berne, OH, compressor station in Noble County, OH, where the blast occurred about 10:40 ET early Monday.

The effects were being felt far downstream at the Gillis interconnect with the Creole Trail Pipeline in Louisiana, which supplies Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas facility, where Genscape estimated nominations had fallen 224 MMcf d/d. 

Westward capacity on the system also was restricted by the incident by up to 114 MMcf/d, resulting in an additional 97 MMcf d/d drop in flows through Tetco’s Lebanon, OH, compressor. 

“This event should widen spreads between M2 [Zone] and Tetco’s demand regions in M3 and the Gulf Coast, as M2 producers must compete to get their gas out, and demand hubs must compete for limited supply,” Genscape said in a note.

Tetco parent Enbridge Inc. said the pipeline exploded and caught fire, but it was unclear what caused the incident. All gathering and other pipelines in the region were shut in as a precaution and residents were evacuated on Monday. A 700-foot precautionary safety perimeter near the incident site is in effect, and the nearby road remains closed, Enbridge said in an update late Tuesday.

A Noble County Emergency Management Association official told NGI that one resident was injured in the blast, but Enbridge said two residents living nearby were injured. The company also said on Tuesday there were secondary fires that damaged three nearby homes. Footage from the scene showed a massive fireball and scorched earth in its aftermath.

“On behalf of Enbridge, I want to express our concern for the two individuals who were injured, as well as all those affected by this incident,” said Executive Vice President Bill Yardley. “We thank the first responders for their efforts and we are working closely with them and other local officials to restore the incident site safely.”

Crews were able to shut in the affected segment and contain the fire by the early evening Monday. The emergency management official said the company and regulators were on scene on Tuesday assessing damage and securing the site.

Spokesman Matt Schilling of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio confirmed that agency personnel were on scene. The commission acts on behalf of the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration when interstate systems are involved. Enbridge said Tuesday that it is working with regulators to identify the cause, monitor repairs and evaluate environmental impacts, which were unclear. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency referred questions to local first responders. 

The section of pipeline that exploded was built in 1952-53, Enbridge said, adding that an in-line inspection was performed in 2012 that showed no remediation was needed.

The blast follows another on the system in 2016, when the Penn-Jersey Line in Westmoreland County, PA, in Tetco’s M3 Zone exploded, toppling trees, razing one house, damaging others and sending one resident to the hospital. Service on that segment was out for more than a week, and it took months to fully restore.

Monday’s incident also comes after an Enbridge line in British Columbia exploded late last year. Genscape noted that the company was able to restore substantial service within two months.

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