Natural Gas Transmission Business Acquired from Third Coast Midstream

A definitive agreement to acquire Third Coast Midstream LLC’s natural gas transmission business was announced by Basalt Infrastructure Partners.

The Natural Gas Transmission Business includes 7 regulated natural gas lateral pipelines that are connected to 8 major long-haul pipelines, ensuring reliable gas supply to customers across Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas.

"We are proud of the accomplishments our team has executed over the last several years in building out this portfolio of high-quality gas transmission assets in the Southeast United States," stated Matt Rowland, Third Coast's President and Chief Executive Officer. “The sale is a further step in Third Coast's strategic repositioning to focus on its core Gulf of Mexico infrastructure platform."

The lateral pipelines stretches approximately 550 miles and have a total capacity of over 1,600 MDth per day. The terms of the transaction are not being disclosed and consummation of the transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions.


Phase II Construction of Hillabee Expansion Project Kicks Off

Construction on the second phase of Williams’ Hillabee Expansion project in Chilton County, Alabama has officially started. This includes contractor mobilization, environmental training and site preparation at the location of a nearly seven-mile pipeline loop known as the Rock Springs Loop.

The second phase construction also includes horsepower modifications to two existing Transco compressor facilities. It is anticipated to be placed into service next summer and will increase the Transco pipeline’s capacity by an additional 206,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day.

Another work on nearly four-mile Verbena Loop in Choctaw County, Alabama is scheduled to begin in April.

The first phase of the Hillabee project was successfully placed into service in July 2017. This increased Transco pipeline’s capacity in Alabama by 818,410 dekatherms per day and supplied Florida power generators via the new Sabal Trail pipeline.


Colonial Pipeline Sued for 2016 Explosion that Killed Two

Colonial Pipeline of Alpharetta, GA has been sued by the family of a man killed in a 2016 pipeline explosion and another man injured in the blast. The complaint was filed in Fulton County State Court on July 9th.

Two men died in the October 2016 explosion in Alabama with five more being injured.

The complaint claims that a project inspector for Colonial did not show up on the day of the explosion. The plaintiffs said that the inspector told a subordinate to go ahead with the excavation despite not having documentation concerning the pipeline provided to him.

A Colonial spokesman provided a statement to the Daily Report saying that the company “continues to extend its sympathy to the family of Mr. Whatley for their loss. Colonial has received the lawsuit and looks forward to addressing the issues raised. At this time, the company will have no further comment on the lawsuit.”

Colonial Pipeline’s 5,500-mile system carries more than 100 million gallons of refined fuel daily between Houston and New York City.

Lawyers for the co-defendant Superior Land Designs told reporters that they had been served and were reviewing the complaint.

The blast occurred on October 31st in Shelby County, Alabama.

Atlanta Business Chronicle

Colonial Pipeline to Pay $3.3 Million in Fines, Damages to Alabama for 2016 Pipeline Spills

Colonial Pipeline Co will pay the state of Alabama $3.3 million in damages and penalties related to an explosion and spill on its 5,500-mile gasoline line in 2016.

The state's attorney general said the settlement is to first address environmental damage to land and water that was caused by the combined 11,800-barrel spill that happened in rural Shelby County in late 2016.

In September of 2016, nearly 7,400 barrels leaked below ground and was discovered by a mining inspector. The leak was caused by pipe fatigue due to improper soil compaction.

In October, a pipeline explosion killed one worker and injured several others after the pipeline exploded during maintenance on the line when it was accidentally struck by excavating equipment. About 4,400 barrels spilled as a result of the explosion.

The Colonial Pipeline transports more than 3 million barrels per day of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from the Gulf Coast to New York.


Williams Partners Expands Transco System Capacity to Meet Growing Energy Demand in Florida

Williams Partners has begun expanding the capacity of its Transco pipeline system to serve the growing Florida power generation market, announcing yesterday that it successfully put into service the first phase of the project.

The project, called the Hillabee expansion, was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in February last year.

The project is designed to be constructed in three phases. Once completed, the expansion is expected to add a total of approximately 1,131,730 dekatherms per day to the pipeline capacity of the Transco system.

The first and completed phase occurred on the line in Alabama and expanded capacity by 818,410 dekatherms per day. The second phase is scheduled to be in service by mid 2020. The third and last phase is expected to be in service by mid 2021.

Transco is the nation's largest-volume and fastest-growing interstate natural gas pipeline system and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Williams Partners.


Sabal Trail Pipeline on Track for Operation by End of Month

The 515-mile interstate Sabal Trail pipeline is on track to be fully operational by the end of this month, according to Sabal Trail Transmission.

"Sabal Trail Transmission has commenced testing of the entire pipeline system prior to flowing gas and transitioning into the operational mode. Certain facilities and the mainline pipeline will be in operation in the next week or so, and the remaining facilities are still on track for a full commercial in-service by the end of June," said Andrea Grover, spokeswoman for Sabal Trail.

Grover added that the pipeline company has been engaged with landowners, public officials, and other stakeholders over the last four years to ensure environmental permitting agencies and to answer questions relating to routing, easements, environmental impacts, safety, and more.

Sabal Trail Transmission is a joint venture of Spectra Energy Partners, NextEra Energy, and Duke Energy. It is designed to provide transportation services for power generation needs to Florida Power and Light and Duke Energy of Florida.

OA Now News
Sabal Trail Transmission

U.S. Safety Board to Begin Investigations Relating to Fatal Colonial Pipeline Accident

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is conducting an open investigation relating to the gasoline fire and explosion in near Helena, Alabama, which occurred last Monday and killed one worker and injured several others.

A section of Colonial Pipeline’s 5,500-mile Line 1 pipeline caught fire and erupted Monday in Shelby County, Alabama, just a mile near a section of the line that leaked hundreds of thousands of gallons of gasoline into a mine retention well and shut down gasoline to the U.S. Southeast for over a week.

The board announced Friday that a team of five members from the board will be in Alabama for several days to conduct interviews and collect evidence of the accident. Some will also visit Colonial Pipeline offices in Georgia to interview operations and engineering staff as well as to collect documents and data.

The fire that erupted on the line Monday during routine maintenance operations was finally fully extinguished on Friday, and operations have begun to remove residual gasoline from the pipeline and to replace the faulty section.


Gasoline Pipeline Explosion in Rural Alabama Kills One, Injures Several

A still shot from CNBC video footage of the fire caused by a gasoline pipeline explosion outside of Helena, Alabama in western Shelby County on October 31, 2016 (  CNBC News  )

A still shot from CNBC video footage of the fire caused by a gasoline pipeline explosion outside of Helena, Alabama in western Shelby County on October 31, 2016 (CNBC News)

The same pipeline that experienced a gasoline leak in early September and caused a gasoline shortage throughout the Southeast exploded in western Shelby County, Alabama on Monday and has been shut down.

The explosion occurred after a worker struck the pipeline with a track hoe, which caused gasoline to ignite and explode around 3:00pm Monday, sending thick, black smoke high into the air over the rural land. One worker was killed, and several workers were injured.

The effects of the explosion were not immediately clear, although two wildfires caused by the explosion have burned at least 31 acres of land and forced individuals living nearby out of their homes. According to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the fire has been contained but remains burning.

“Our deepest condolences go out tonight to the family and friends of the person who was lost today, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured,” pipeline owner Colonial Pipeline said in a released statement Monday.

Colonial Pipeline also said in a brief statement following the incident that health and safety of its work crews and the public are its top priorities.


Colonial Pipeline: Damaged Pipeline to be Excavated, Sent to Lab for Testing

Colonial Pipeline Company has begun excavating the section of its Line 1 pipeline that failed and leaked thousands of gallons of gasoline in Shelby County, Alabama last month.

Once the pipeline is excavated, it will be sent to an independent laboratory for further testing.

PHMSA is leading the investigation into the failure of the pipeline and requires Colonial Pipeline to conduct various tests and analyses on the affected pipe. If PHMSA concludes that Colonial Pipeline violated any federal safety regulations, the administration may issue civil penalties or recommend a criminal investigation.

Colonial Pipeline is still working on cleanup operations around the site of the leak, mainly in a mining retention pond where most of the spilled gasoline collected.

Colonial built a bypass line around the leak and was able to restart regular operations of the line on September 21.


Colonial Pipeline: Expect Restart of Ruptured Gasoline Pipeline Wednesday

Colonial Pipeline Company announced Tuesday that it expects the restart of its Line 1 gasoline pipeline on Wednesday after a leak of approximately 6,000 barrels caused major gasoline shortages and higher prices at the pump in the Southeast.

Crews are constructing a bypass line that, when completed, will resume full operation of Line 1, which runs gasoline from the Gulf of Mexico to the East Coast. The bypass is about 500 to 700 feet long and will have roughly the same pressure and capacity specifications as Line 1.

Gas prices have risen significantly in the past week in the affected states, with Georgia getting hit the worst. The cost of fuel rose by 4.5 cents in Georgia overnight, adding to an increase of fuel prices by 25 cents in just a week, according to AAA.

The gasoline leak occurred September 9 on a section of Line 1 in Shelby County, Alabama. A mining inspector detected a gasoline odor while doing work nearby and reported the smell to authorities. The leak was then confirmed by Colonial Pipeline, and officials are currently investigating the cause of the spill, which remains unknown.


Southeast Gas Pumps Experiencing Shortages after Alabama Pipeline Leak

Gas prices are spiking across the Southeast after a pipeline break that leaked approximately 8,000 barrels of gasoline in rural Alabama last week.

The ruptured pipeline is Colonial Pipeline Company’s Line 1 pipeline, which can transport up to 1.2 million barrels of gasoline a day. The company has two main lines and is having to ship significant volumes of gasoline on their second line while they make repairs on Line 1.

Motorists in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina are seeing a growing number of gas stations with covered nozzles indicating they are out of use. And gas stations that are still pumping gas are increasing their prices.

Colonial Pipeline said the company was working “around the clock” to repair the break and get supplies to the affected states. The company also stated over the weekend that it is in the process of constructing a temporary pipeline that will bypass the ruptured section of Line 1 in Shelby County, Alabama.

Meanwhile, federal regulators are in the process of investigating the cause of the pipeline leak, which is currently unknown.

Wall Street Journal

Shelby County Pipeline Leak Spilled an Estimated 250,000 Gallons of Gasoline

Aerial photo of two of the three mine water retention ponds at the incident site. The retention pond on the right is where the gasoline has been contained. ( Colonial Pipeline )

Aerial photo of two of the three mine water retention ponds at the incident site. The retention pond on the right is where the gasoline has been contained. (Colonial Pipeline)

Colonial Pipeline Company now estimates that nearly 6,000 barrels or 252,000 gallons of gasoline were spilled in the pipeline leak last Friday in rural Shelby County, Alabama.

Colonial Pipeline, the largest refined products system in the U.S., shut down two of its main lines, Line 1 and Line 2, after the leak was discovered by workers at a mining operation. Line 2 has restarted since Friday, and the company expects Line 1, which is currently being repaired, to be completely restarted by this weekend.

The company wrote on its spill-response website that there has been no threat to public health or safety.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Federal Government has restricted the airspace above the release location to further protect responders, personnel, and the public,” the company stated.

Most of the spill has been contained in a mining retention pond, and crews are working to remove the gasoline with skimmers. Booms have also been deployed to prevent gasoline from reaching a dry creek bed that runs to Peel Creek.

Nearly 500 employees and contractors are working on the response, according to Colonial Pipeline.

PHMSA officials are currently investigating the cause of the leak.

Colonial Pipeline

Gasoline Pipeline Leak Detected in Alabama is Contained

Colonial Pipeline is making repairs to a gasoline pipeline leak that was discovered and reported in Shelby County, Alabama on Friday. The affected pipeline has been shut off until repairs are completed.

Workers at a mining operation discovered the leak when they smelled strong gasoline odors near the intersection of County Road 91 and Lindsey Road. They called Colonial Pipeline who confirmed the leak.

The cause of the leak is currently unknown, and the amount of gasoline spilled has not yet been determined.

Colonial Pipeline, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, and the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency are all involved in assessing or managing the spill.

David Butler of the conservation group Cahaba Riverkeeper was informed of the spill by Colonial Pipeline which advised Butler on the possible effects to a nearby river. Butler expressed to reporters of that it would be “pretty extraordinary” for the spill to reach the river but that aggressive steps are being taken to protect the water.

The spilled gasoline has soaked into some soil, and some collected into a mining retention pond near the site.

Spokesman for Colonial Pipeline David York said the affected area is very remote, and the spill has been confined. No surrounding communities or waterways should be affected.


Interstate Communities Strategize to Terminate Natural Gas Pipeline Project

Proposed Map of Sabal Trail Pipeline via

Proposed Map of Sabal Trail Pipeline via

Communities from Georgia and Florida gathered in Gainesville, Florida to discuss their opposition to the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline and to strategize its termination. 

Some topics of their meeting at the Grassroots Summit to Stop Sabal Trail included landowners’ rights, natural gas storage facilities and rail projects in Florida, hazards associated with fracking, and the potential impacts the pipeline would have on the environment.

A big concern of the opposed is Florida’s water, claiming the pipeline would affect over 60 percent of Florida’s drinking water supply. Another concern involves climate impacts from fracked gas infrastructure.

Both federal regulators and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the pipeline and granted the necessary permits needed for the project.

The Sabal Trail pipeline is a joint venture project of Spectra Energy, NextEra Energy, and Duke Energy. It involves a proposed natural gas pipeline that would run approximately 515-miles from Alabama through south Georgia and Florida, providing transportation services for power generation needs to Florida Power and Light and Duke Energy of Florida beginning May 2017.

The Gainesville Sun
Sabal Trail Transmission