Explosion Causes Fire at Philadelphia Oil Refinery

Early Friday morning, after several explosions, a large fire broke out at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery. The explosion's blaze caused nearby homes to shake and gave minor injuries to 5 workers. Immediately, gas prices increased by 3.9 % for fear of restricted access to supplies.

The fire proved difficult to extinguish as access was limited “due to the damage and instability” of the crumbling building. Crews from the fire department continuously poured water on pipes and tanks to cool them down and workers from Philadelphia Energy Solutions teamed up to turn off the gas that was feeding the fire. Eventually, the fire department successfully extinguished the fire on Saturday afternoon.

The air in the surrounding areas was tested for 61 chemical compounds about every 3 hours after the explosion and officials stated the air was safe and that there were no immediate health threats to be concerned about.

There is still no answer as to what caused the explosion, however investigations have begun.


Southern California Gas Co. Fined $3.3M Over 2017 California Pipeline Blast

A 2017 explosion caused by a leaking pipeline in Ontario (east of Los Angeles) resulted in the injury of one person. Southern California Gas Co, the company responsible, has now been fined $3.3 million for the incident.

The Public Utilities Commission said that the utility refused to test a damaged pipeline section that was removed. Southern California Gas argued that testing it would destroy lawsuit evidence that it is obligated to preserve.

Southern California Gas Co. was accused for putting "fear of civil damages ahead of public safety." in PUC citation.

The utility says it's has cooperated with the PUC throughout the investigation as well as complied with state and federal regulations, investigated the cause of the incident and completed repairs.


Will There be Health Risks After Enbridge Pipeline Explosion? Company Doesn't Think So

Enbridge, owners of the natural gas pipeline in British Columbia that ruptured and erupted in flames last week, says that the dust settled on homes near the blast site does not pose a health threat.

The company announced that earth sampling near the site shows mineral and metal composition well below provincial and federal standards for urban and residential areas.

Although there is no timeline to return the 91-centimeter pipeline to service, construction of an access road to the damaged line continues and repair crews may be able to reach the scene later this week.

Enbridge says it recognizes the incident’s impact on the communities and companies around it, and are working to make sure their needs are being met.


Columbia Gas to Replace 48 Miles of Gas Pipeline After Explosions

Columbia Gas says it will replace 48 miles of gas pipeline in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence.

The effort to speed up a modernization program is the best way to make sure the system is safe before gas is turned back on.

On Thursday, a series of gas explosions and fires broke in three communities near Boston. One person died and thousands were forced from their homes.

The old material used in the pipeline will be replaced with what the company calls “state-of-the-art plastic distribution mains and service lines, and modern safety features such as pressure regulation and excess flow valves at each premise.”

The National Safety Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the incident, said Sunday that results so far show that the gas lines in the area were over pressurized.

“We believe the gas did indeed flow into homes at significantly greater flow rates and pressure,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt told reporters.” The real question for this investigation is to answer why this occurred.”

Residents were able to return home on Sunday, but gas services will take longer to restore.

“With this incident, a life was tragically lost and thousands of other lives were directly affected,” Joe Hamrock, president and CEO of NiSource, Columbia’s parent company, said in a statement. “We lost the trust of this community and are 100 percent committed to restoring safety, confidence and peace of mind for everyone in this community. Over time, we hope to earn back the rust we lost during this incident.”


Residents Cleared to Return to Neighborhoods after Series of Pipeline Explosions

Three Massachusetts communities were cleared for residents to return to after a gas explosion killed one man and set dozens of buildings on fire on Thursday.

Over-pressurized lines caused a natural gas leak triggering a series of explosions and fires in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence. Residents of around 8,000 homes and businesses were ordered to evacuate and shut off electricity to prevent further fires.

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts declined to comment on Sunday on what caused the leaks, stating that federal investigators would decide. The company said before the releases that upgrades to gas lines in neighborhoods across the states would be upgraded.

The National Transportation Safety Board, PHMSA, the Massachusetts Fire Marshal’s office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are all investigating the gas leaks and explosions.

“There is no sign that anyone did anything intentional,” Jennifer Mieth, a spokeswoman for the state Fire Marshal said on Friday. She said the FBI would stay involved until the NTSB determined the case of the leaks.

Utility crews worked through the weekend and complete checks and shut gas meters on homes and buildings in the affected areas with Electric power being restored to all customers on Sunday.

Natural gas service will not be restored until utility workers evaluate the area’s gas lines for safety.


30 Houses Evacuated After Energy Transfer 24-Inch Pipeline Explosion

Police say a gas pipeline in Center Township exploded early Monday morning forcing close to 30 homes to be evacuated.

The explosion was on Energy Transfer Partner’s 24-inch natural gas gathering line in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Reports suggested that the pipeline explosion occurred shortly before 5 a.m.

“It took time… to burn the gas that was remaining in the lines out,” police said.

Center Township Police Chief added that there were also some evacuees that required medical assistance because of their medical condition and not injuries sustained by the actual explosion.

Power lines and other towers fell, blocking a road, and closing an interstate in both directions.
The Central Valley School District – which includes Center and Potter townships and Monaca – closed all of its schools Monday due to the explosion.

Although no injuries were reported, several homes in the area were evacuated after the fire broke out, the company said in an emailed statement. The cause of the explosion is still unknown.

The fire was extinguished around two hours after the initial fire. later that morning, the company reported.

Biz Journal

TransCanada Gas Pipeline Still at Risk After Initial Explosion

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration listed 13 points of proposed corrective actions issued to TransCanada Corp. in a Notice of Proposed Safety Order on July 9th related to last month's pipeline explosion. 

TransCanada Corp. must take those actions in order to prevent a similar explosion from happening.

PHMSA wrote, “…it appears that the continued operation of the Affected Segment, without corrective measures, poses a pipeline integrity risk to public safety, property, and the environment.”

TransCanada and its subsidiary, Columbia Gas Transmission LLC, identified six additional areas of concern along its 120-mile pipeline. The company says that the area of concern was a result of large spoil piles, steep slopes and indications of slips.

The investigation into the failure of the pipeline is still ongoing.

The 36-inch gas transmission pipeline sent a fireball into the sky on June 7th after it failed on a weld early in the morning.

Luckily, the area the pipeline is located in is rural and isolated and resulted no injuries, fatalities, or evacuations.

The Intelligencer

Landslide Apparent Cause of Rupture and Explosion of West Virginia Pipeline

Columbia Gas Transmission told federal pipeline regulators that the cause of last month’s pipeline explosion in West Virginia was apparently due to a landslide.

The site of the break was at the bottom of a steep hill on Nixon Ridge, south of Moundsville, and exploded after the landslide caused a rupture in the new natural gas pipeline.

No one was injured, and no homes were in danger at the time of the incident that occurred Thursday morning around 4:15 AM, authorities told local news media.

The expected in-service date has been pushed back from early July to the middle of the month as TransCanada, the owner of the Columbia Gas Transmission system, works on repairing the pipeline.

A TransCanada spokesperson said that it could take months or years for federal regulators to complete their investigation of the incident, although “internal findings point to land subsidence as the cause of the rupture.”

The company added on their website that “the weather in the region has continued to create challenging conditions during the remediation process.”

A Reuters analysts said West Virginia was producing about 4.8 billion cubic feet per day of gas near the time of the explosion, which was the same amount as earlier in the week.

The pipeline was not operating above its maximum pressure at the time of the incident.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Columbia Gas Transmission Pipeline Explodes in West Virginia, No Reported Injuries

A section of TransCanada's Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline exploded on Thursday in Moundsville, West Virginia, sending large flames into the air that could be seen miles around the incident site.

No one was injured, and no homes were in danger at the time of the incident that occurred Thursday morning around 4:15 AM, authorities told local news media.

The incident could impact about 1.3 billion cubic feet per day of gas service, according to TransCanada. The company did not say when the pipeline would come back online.

The explosion happened too quickly for pipeline flow data to show any impact on the movement of gas in the area. Reuters analysts said West Virginia was producing about 4.8 billion cubic feet per day of gas near the time of the explosion, which was the same amount as earlier in the week.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

TransCanada acquired the 12,000-mile Columbia pipeline system in 2016.


Tallgrass Isolates Segment of Pipeline in Ohio after Gas Release, Fire

Tallgrass Energy Partners said it isolated a segment of its Seneca Lateral pipeline following an unexpected release of natural gas and fire in Noble County, Ohio on Wednesday.

The natural gas release and fire that occurred at 2:30am ET on Wednesday resulted in no injuries or evacuations, the company reported. All fires are out, and the cause is being investigated.

The Seneca Lateral pipeline that runs between the MPLX MarkWest processing plant and the Tallgrass Rockies Express (REX) pipeline will remain unavailable until repairs can be made, the company told its customers.

The Seneca Lateral pipeline feeds gas from Utica shale producers onto its REX pipeline after processing at the MarkWest Seneca facility.


Enterprise Products Partners NatGas Pipeline Explodes in New Mexico, No Injuries Reported

Enterprise Products Partners is investigating why one of its natural gas pipelines ruptured, exploded, and caught fire in southern New Mexico's oil patch on Wednesday morning.

A spokesperson for the company said the incident occurred in a sparsely populated area south of Carlsbad, New Mexico and involved a line that transfers gas from wells to a treatment facility.

No injuries have been reported, but authorities say one storage building burned before the pipeline was shut down to extinguish the fire.

The explosion caused the closure of two nearby highways, but one was reopened by late Wednesday morning. The other remained closed.

U.S. News

Estimated 20,000 Pounds of Butane Emissions Released Friday after Fire at Enterprise Storage Site

A major fire that broke out Friday night at an industrial plant owned by Enterprise Products Partners in Mont Belvieu has been put out, according to authorities.

The fire was reported Friday evening by a person working at the ExxoMobil building in Baytown, Texas, about seven miles from the location of the fire.

As a result of the fire, an estimated 20,000 pounds of butane emissions were released from the underground storage site.

It is unclear what caused the fire, but no injuries were reported as a result, according to Enterprise.

The fire lasted for more than three hours on Friday night and also caused smaller emissions releases of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, according to a filing by Enterprise.

The company also noted that no operations were impacted by the fire.

Fuel Fix

Pipeline Companies Secure Operations Amid Raging Wildfires in Canada

Major pipeline companies are taking measures to protect operations as wildfires raging to more than 93,000 acres spread in British Columbia, Canada.

Kinder Morgan Canada removed vegetation along its Trans Mountain pipeline, created a fire break, and installed sprinklers to keep the surrounding area wet, according to COO Hugh Harden.

Enbridge Inc took a natural gas compressor station offline but said Wednesday that there was no significant volume reduction in amount of gas shipped.

The wildfires, totaling to over 200 fires, have also disrupted timber and mining operations and damaged a regional electric utility.

British Columbia declared its first state of emergency since 2003 on Friday. More than 14,000 people have had to evacuate their homes.


Eight Dead, 35 Injured after NatGas Pipeline Explosion in Southwest China

(Google Maps)

(Google Maps)

At least eight people have died and another 35 are injured after a natural gas pipeline exploded in southwest China on Sunday.

The pipeline explosion sent flames and thick black smoke billowing above rows of buildings in southwest China's Guizhou Province at about 10:00am local time, forcing locals to flee the scene while more than 50 firefighters worked to subdue the flames.

The firefighters were able to bring the flames under control before 1:00pm local time.

The explosion is reported to have been triggered by a landslide after days of heavy rain.

The pipeline is owned by China National Petroleum Corp.


Dakota Pipeline Protestors Set Structures Ablaze Amid Camp Evacuation Deadline

Perhaps as a last act of defiance, some protestors remaining at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp set ablaze a few remaining structures on Wednesday, the last day protestors were given to evacuate the camp before authorities would force them to leave.

The protestors are calling it a "ceremonial act" as they set structures on fire on their last day to be at the camp before being potentially arrested for trespassing.

February 22 was the set deadline ordered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum for remaining few-hundred protestors to evacuate the federally-owned Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota, where thousands of protestors have camped over the last few months to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The evacuation was ordered as a way to protect the protestors from coming spring floods as well as an effort to prevent possible environmental damage that could result from eroded waste and debris left at the campsite.

Chase Iron Eyes, member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, said he expects protestors to stay put all the way until the 2 p.m. (GMT) deadline and subject themselves to arrests.

North Dakota officials set up a travel assistance center to help evacuate remaining protestors. Food, water, health check-ups, and one night's voucher to a nearby hotel are being accommodated to remaining protestors, as well as a bus ticket home.

According to court documents filed Tuesday, the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline will be ready for oil between March 6 and April 1.

NBC News

Kinder Morgan Shuts Down Texas Gas Pipeline after Explosion, Fire

A natural gas pipeline exploded and caught fire in Refugio, Texas early Wednesday morning, with communities reporting feeling shakes from the pipeline burst as far as 60 miles away.

The affected Tejas Pipeline is owned by Houston-based pipeline operator Kinder Morgan, who said it shut down the system and that the fire has been extinguished. No injuries were reported as a result of the gas release and fire.

Local media reports say the explosion was felt around 1:00am and flames could be seen as far as 100 miles away where they plumed in rural Refugio, about 160 miles southwest of Houston.

The cause of the gas release is currently under investigation.

Houston Chronicle

Enterprise Announces Pascagoula Plant Back in Service After Explosion, Shutdown in June

Enterprise Products Partners announced that its Pascagoula natural gas processing plant in Moss Point, Mississippi has been fully restarted after being shut down for about 6 months due to two explosions and a resulting fire at the plant in June.

Enterprise did not disclose the current operational rates of the plant, but before the incident in June the plant was averaging about 400 million cubic feet per day of inlet-gas volumes.

The cause of the explosions and resulting fire at the plant in June is still being investigated, and the US Chemical Safety Board said it expects that determining the cause of the incident will require complex work given significant damage that resulted.

Oil & Gas Journal

No Injuries Occurred From Fire After Gas Pipeline Rupture, Pipeline Segment Isolated

No injuries occurred after a fire erupted from a ruptured gas pipeline north of Kansas City, Missouri, according to authorities.

A pipeline owned by Enterprise Products Partners that carries ethane and propane ruptured, causing a fire to erupt on Tuesday evening in Platte County, Missouri. The fire was later put out.

Enterprise Products Partners, who owns the pipeline’s operator Mid-America Pipeline Company said the affected segment of the pipeline has been isolated and that an investigation of the cause of rupture is currently ongoing.


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.


Colonial Pipeline Expected to Restart Pipeline Segment Sunday after Explosion, Fire

Colonial Pipeline reported it will delay restarting its Line 1 to Sunday after it was shut down earlier this week due to an explosion and fire on the line in Shelby County, Alabama.

Restoration on the line is expected for Sunday afternoon now rather than Saturday, according to Colonial Pipeline. The company said it made great progress Wednesday night to remove product from the affected segment of Line 1 which will allow workers to fully extinguish the fire that has been burning since the explosion on Monday. The crews will then be able to replace the damaged part of the line.

Colonial Pipeline’s Line 1 transports 1.3 billion barrels a day of oil products such as gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel from the gulf to the U.S. Northeast, a span of more than 5,000 miles.