Entering the sixth day on Tuesday of force majeure conditions at all points on the Sabine Pipe Line system, including the Henry Hub, the company said its employees were successful in conducting visual surveillance of the system’s accessible portions. The company was forced to call a force majeure last Thursday due to uncertainty surrounding Hurricane Rita’s projected path.

The company said Tuesday that media reports on Saturday of a rupture at Henry Hub were false. “There were some reports out late Saturday or Sunday about the Henry Hub having a leak. Those were erroneous reports,” said Mickey Driver, a spokesman with Chevron Corp., which owns Sabine Pipe Line. “We are still doing damage assessment. We can do that some places faster than others. There is a lot of flooding and downed power lines near the Henry Hub, which was one of the hardest hit areas. So logistically, it’s been a little more difficult getting in there than we anticipated.”

The spokesman noted that after Hurricane Katrina hit, Chevron waited a full week before issuing anything on the damage assessment. “We are only three days out from Hurricane Rita hitting, so it will likely be several more days, if not four or five more days, before we say anything on damage assessments.”

Early reports indicate wind damage in the vicinity of the Port Neches, TX compressor station and water damage at the Henry Hub facilities near Erath, LA (an aerial photo on CNN-TV on Monday showed the Henry Hub with water all around the above-ground equipment). Power remains out in most areas of the system.

“Efforts are under way to conduct detailed assessments of the extent of the damages, if any, to our facilities while ensuring the safety of all personnel who are working in affected areas,” Sabine said.

The company reopened its offices in Houston on Tuesday and said it will provide further information and updates as they become available.

On Sunday, the company said two separate natural gas releases were located and secured, neither of which was sourced from Sabine Pipe Line LLC facilities (see Daily GPI, Sept. 27). Sabine said appropriate representatives for the responsible facilities were notified.

Sabine is working with local emergency response personnel to make definitive assessments of its Henry Hub facility. The hub is the delivery point for the natural gas futures market and a key cash trading location.

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