Emergency crews from three northeastern Pennsylvania counties responded Thursday afternoon to an apparent flash fire at the Lathrop compressor station in Springville Township. The 12,000-square-foot facility, operated by Williams Partners LP, houses seven compressors.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said that at about 11:30 a.m. EDT authorities were alerted to a natural gas leak at the station in Susquehanna County. Spokeswoman Colleen Connally said there were no reports of injuries. However, Chinchilla Hose Co. was called in to provide a foam material to contain any leaked gas or possible fire.
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., which sold the Lathrop station to Williams in 2010, and which often works with Williams in the Marcellus, said it had been notified of a flash fire, “which extinguished itself immediately.” The fire’s cause is being investigated,” said Cabot CEO Dan O. Dinges. At the time of the incident Cabot was moving about 365 MMcf/d through the station, Dinges said.
“The investigation has just begun as to equipment damage, if any, the length of disruption or potential impact,” he said. “As more information becomes readily available, we will communicate through a press release.”
According to a report in The Scranton Times-Tribune, area resident Paul Karpich, who lives about a quarter mile from the Lathrop facility, said he heard a “boom” Thursday morning but told the newspaper it wasn’t a “remarkable” noise. Karpich said he then walked over a hill that separates his home from the station and saw that part of the station’s roof appeared to be missing.
In addition to adding more compressors after buying the system from Cabot, Williams recently completed its Springville gathering pipeline, a 33-mile high-pressure gas pipe from the Lathrop station to Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line in Luzerne County, PA (see Daily GPI, Feb. 24). The Associated Press reported that the Springville area has 58 active producing Marcellus Shale wells.
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