Eagle Rock Energy Partners LP subsidiary, HESCO Gathering Co., experienced an explosion and limited fire on its Phase "I" 20-inch diameter pipeline located in a rural area of Hidalgo County, TX, Friday morning.

The rupture of a gasline west of McCook, TX, in Hidalgo County started a fire and led to multiple explosions, according to press reports. Firefighters were called about the explosion at 9:38 a.m. CST. "Thick plumes of black smoke that can be seen from miles away continue to billow into the air as excess natural gas continues to burn before crews can repair the 20-inch gasline," reported The Monitor newspaper of McAllen, TX, on its website, www.themonitor.com at about 10:30 a.m. CST Friday.

Firefighters from the towns of Edinburg, Linn and San Manuel were called to the fire scene, near the intersection of Farm-to-Market roads 490 and 681. Eagle Rock said there were no injuries, which contradicted some news reports of at least one instance of minor injuries. The company "promptly shut off the source of natural gas flowing through the affected pipeline, and the fire was contained and is now substantially extinguished," the company said.

The pipeline had been carrying up to approximately 35 MMcf/d of gas, and as of Friday afternoon all but 5 MMcf/d of the pipeline's volumes had been diverted to alternate outlets. An investigation to determine the cause of the incident has begun.

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