PHMSA Update on ATEX Pipeline Explosion in WV – Faulty Weld?

It’s been five days since a section of the Appalachia to Texas (ATEX) Express ethane pipeline ruptured/exploded and burned in Brooke County, WV (see ATEX Ethane Pipeline Explodes, Burns near Follansbee, WV). Since the pipeline is under the regulatory oversight of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), that organization is doing the investigation into the accident. The rupture and resulting fire burned approximately 24,000 barrels of ethane and scorched some 5 acres of woodland. What has the PHMSA learned so far? Not much. They have some theories, according to an initial report. It appears that the 20-inch pipeline ruptured near a section that had been welded together…

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