Columbia Gas Transmission LLC’s (TCO) Leach XPress pipeline was still out of service on Thursday, a week after an explosion and fire in Marshall County, WV, knocked out volumes and forced the company to issue a force majeure.
In an update on Thursday, TCO said it was working to fix the line. In particular, the company stressed that it is trying to restore the downstream segment of the impacted line to enable the Stagecoach meter to return to service. Capacity was still at zero on the 1.5 Bcf/d, 36-inch diameter Leach line that primarily serves the Southeast and Gulf Coast.
A preliminary investigation has revealed that two joints on the system were damaged in the blast, impacting about 80 feet of the pipeline. There were no injuries, and the cause of the incident remains unclear. The joints have been sent to a metallurgist for testing and analysis.
The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is leading the investigation.
TCO said it still does not know when service will be returned. Appalachian production has remained stable during the outage, with most of the affected volumes re-routed to other pipelines, Genscape Inc. analyst Vanessa Witte said in a note to clients earlier this week. However, it is less clear where the roughly 250 MMcf/d of flows through Stagecoach have gone, if they’ve gone anywhere at all, she said.
Genscape also said Columbia Gulf Transmission system receipts had dropped by nearly 700 MMcf/d since the force majeure went into effect June 7 after the explosion. The interconnect with Leach is Columbia Gulf’s largest supply point.
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