A gas explosion tore apart TransQuebec & Maritimes (TQM)pipeline’s East Hereford, PQ, compressor station near theQuebec-New-Hampshire border last Thursday, injuring one person andcompletely destroying an instrumentation control building. The lossof gas compression at the border crossing is reducing firm gasflows by 10-20 MMcf/d into the Portland Natural Gas TransmissionSystem (PNGTS) in New England.

The injured TQM Pipeline employee, Denis Lalibert‚, sufferedburns and had to be transported to the Sherbrooke UniversityHospital. His condition was stable on Friday, according to TQM.

“Our surveillance system is such that we were immediately awareof the incident, and we quickly notified emergency services, localauthorities and the Canadian Transport Safety Board, which alreadyhas inspectors on location to lead an inquiry,” said TQM PresidentRobert Turgeon. There was no fire, nor consequences on theenvironment or air quality, he said.

Natural gas was cleared from the compressor station, which is nolonger in service. The pipeline system continues to operate safely,Turgeon said.

The East Hereford station is located at one end of a pipelinesegment connecting the TQM network with that of PNGTS, which servesgas customers in New Hampshire and Maine and links with the JointFacilities of PNGTS and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline inWestbrook, ME.

A PNGTS spokesman said the pipeline, which has been transportingabout 150 MMcf/d gas, was not damaged, but gas flows were reduced.

TransCanada is providing assistance to TQM under an operationalbalancing agreement. A member of TransCanada’s volume planningdepartment said all interruptible flows have been curtailed untilfurther notice and firm flows were restricted by up to 20 MMcf/dover the holiday weekend. “The control center is gone. I know it’sno longer there,” he said. “The compressor, I think, was damagedalso. There are various solutions being discussed right now. Theymight transport a portable compressor down there. But it will takeseveral days to get that up and running.” For more information,please contact TransCanada’s volume planning department at (403)267-6464.

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