Pascagoula Natural Gas Plant May Restart by Year's End

A Pascagoula natural gas processing plant that was severely damaged in an explosion back in June could restart operations by the end of this year, stated CEO James Teague of Enterprise Products Partners to investors during a conference call.

“The investigation of the Chemical Safety Board is still underway and we are cooperating. At this time, our best estimate is the plant will return to operation in the fourth quarter,” said Teague.

Enterprise set aside $7 million for damage repair, but the vice president of investor relations Randy Burkhalter said that amount may increase as they are still developing what the cost will be to get the facility back up and running.

The Pascagoula processing plant extracts liquids from natural gas, sending the gas to users and the liquids to plants that make propane and butane. Due to the plant’s temporary shutdown, some oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have limited production. Some natural gas is being diverted from the Destin Pipeline, which feeds the Pascagoula plant, to other connected pipelines. Gas is then being piped ashore for processing in Louisiana.

Investigations about the explosion that sent flames into the air for hours are still ongoing.

Enterprise now wholly owns the plant after purchasing BP’s 60 percent share earlier this year.