Two explosions and a resulting fire occurred at a natural gas processing plant in Pascagoula, Mississippi on Monday evening. No employees or surrounding communities were injured or impacted as the fire was restricted inside the facility.
The first explosion occurred around 11:30pm local time on Monday night while the second one followed just a few minutes later, according to Energy Management Director Early Etheridge. The resulting fire from the explosions was extinguished at around 5:00pm local time on Tuesday.
The Pascagoula plant as well as the Destin pipeline, a joint venture of BP and Enterprise that sends gas to Enterprise’s plant from platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, have been shut down while officials investigate the cause of the explosions.
Analysts report the temporary shutdown of the plant and pipeline along with the halt of production at several platforms in the Gulf of Mexico could "significantly" curtail supplies from the Gulf as the offshore platforms have to find another place to send their gas, thus threatening to raise oil and gas prices.
The plant has the capacity of 1.5 billion cubit feet of natural gas per day but was averaging about 400 million cubic feet per day. Officials are uncertain of how long the plant and pipeline will be offline.