No one was hurt and there was no property damage from a natural pipeline rupture and explosion in rural northwest Oklahoma. Flames from burning natural gas could be seen from 50 miles away, according to reports.
A Northern Natural Gas Co. 30-inch diameter mainline ruptured late Tuesday night in Harper County, OK, about 150 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. A resulting fire was extinguished early Wednesday morning, Northern Natural spokesman Mike Loeffler told NGI.
The only property damage was to the pipeline, Loeffler said. Wednesday afternoon, Northern Natural said the site had been stabilized. Repairs are expected to be completed during the first part of next week. "The flows on Northern's system have returned to normal, and Northern does not anticipate any impact to service," the pipeline said in a customer notice.
The company's gas management plan allowed for the diversion of gas to other pipelines in the area, so service to customers was not interrupted, Loeffler said. The trunkline carries gas to Northern Natural's market areas to states such as Nebraska, Iowa and Michigan.
Following the rupture, the pipeline was isolated, and the gas in the pipeline was allowed to burn down, he said. Area residents were evacuated.
The cause of the rupture was unknown but was being investigated, which could take several weeks. Loeffler said the company was not aware of any excavation in the area at the time. He did not have information on the age of the pipeline segment.
Northern Natural is a unit of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.