The Duke Energy natural gas storage cavern in Liberty County, TX, which sustained the most damage in an explosion and fire last August, is expected to return to service within a couple of weeks, a spokesman for Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT) said Thursday.

Cavern No. 1 of DEGT's Moss Bluff salt cavern storage facility is expected to return to service around April 1, but that date still is "fluid," DEGT spokesman Danny Gibbs told NGI during the 19th annual GasMart in New Orleans. The cavern has a storage capacity of about 6 Bcf.

DEGT received approval last November from the Texas Railroad Commission to return two other caverns, Nos. 2 and 3, to partial service. The two caverns were largely unaffected by the blast and subsequent fire.

As a result of restoring partial service, Moss Bluff customers were allowed to make full withdrawals from the site, but they could only make limited injections, according to the company.

The entire Moss Bluff storage facility has a capacity of 16 Bcf, Gibbs said.

The fire at the storage facility, which burned for an entire week, broke out in the pre-dawn hours of Aug. 19 following the explosion in cavern No. 1, which held about 6 Bcf of stored gas. No one was injured in either the blast or subsequent fire.

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