Tetco Pipe Drilling in Athens, OH Hits Gas Pocket, Catches Fire

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As part of drilling underground (directional horizontal drilling, or HDD), Enbridge hit a pocket of natural gas in Athens County, OH about 400 below the surface. The gas leaked out and caught fire last Wednesday, partially burning the drilling rig. Fortunately the rig operators have the presence of mind to evacuate quickly and no one was hurt. The fire closed a section of Route 681 southeast of Albany, OH until Friday afternoon. According to press reports, the work being done is for the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline (Tetco). This next bit is our own conjecture (we are not 100% sure), but we think we know which Tetco-related project Enbridge was working on. A year ago, in August 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved three Spectra Energy pipeline projects all part of the same package to flow more Marcellus/Utica gas to the South (see FERC Approves 3 Spectra Energy Pipe Projects in Marcellus/Utica). The three projects, which together will add an additional 662 million cubic feet (MMcf/d) of capacity along Tetco, are Access South, Adair Southwest and Lebanon Express. We believe the work being done was for this trio of projects. Given the location of the fire (Athens County), it was likely the Adair Southwest project (see the project map). The Enbridge website lists Range Resources as the shipper that reserved capacity along the Adair Southwest portion of the upgraded Tetco (200 MMcf/d of capacity). Below is the news would could find regarding the fire…

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