Feds Find More Corrosion, Issue Order re Exploded TETCO Pipe in PA

Spectra blazeAn update on Spectra Energy’s Texas Eastern Transmission’s (TETCO) “Delmont Line 27” which exploded in Westmoreland County, PA on April 29 (see Texas Eastern Pipeline Explodes near Pittsburgh, Antis Celebrate). We previously told you that not only was Line 27 out of commission, so too were three other pipelines running through the same corridor, meaning 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day is not reaching certain mid-Atlantic markets (see Update on Spectra Pipeline Explosion Near Pittsburgh). The early evidence points to corrosion along welded seams, although the jury is still out and the exact cause may not be known for months. One of the four lines that was offline (Line 19) was examined and certified by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in early May to go back online (see TETCO Pipeline Up & Running Post-Explosion; Antis Exploit Accident). However, the other three lines have remained idle pending further investigation and won’t be online again until at least November (see Ruptured TETCO Pipeline in PA Offline Until November). In an order issued on Tuesday, federal regulators with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) are requiring Spectra Energy to perform more testing and take corrective actions on the remaining three lines. Although the cause of the explosion is still not 100% verified, it’s still thought to be corrosion around welded pipe joints, i.e. bad pipe tape…

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