Spectra Admits Detecting Corrision in Exploded TETCO Pipe 4 Yrs Ago

Spectra blazeOn April 29, Spectra Energy’s Texas Eastern Transmission (TETCO) “Delmont Line 27” pipeline exploded in Westmoreland County, PA, seriously injuring one resident who still cannot walk after being burned over much of his body (see Texas Eastern Pipeline Explodes near Pittsburgh, Antis Celebrate). The reason for the explosion and fire was corrosion on welds covered with a particular kind of pipe tape no longer in use (see Spectra Says PA Pipeline Explosion “Unacceptable,” Blames Pipe Tape). Brace yourself for news that may make you angry: An investigation four years ago (in 2012) discovered corrosion in the very area where the pipe would eventually explode. Spectra says they documented the corrosion, but pipe corrosion happens over time–this is nothing new–and the thing to do is to monitor it. Spectra planned to reexamine the welds and the corrosion again in 2019, per the normal and accepted safety schedule. According to Spectra, until now it has been observed that corrosion of pipes happens at a rate of no more than 2-3% per year. In the case of the exploding TETCO pipeline, the corrosion rate was vastly accelerated, more like 10-15% per year since the last examination. What made it speed up?…

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