Philly Refinery to Close Following Massive Fire – 1,020 Jobs Lost

Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), which operates the East Coast’s largest refinery on the banks of the Delaware River, was already wobbling because of onerous federal regulations that require refiners to blend in biofuel with gasoline and diesel, or purchase very expensive credits. PES can’t blend, so they must buy the credits, which put them under water financially, forcing them into bankruptcy last year (see Philadelphia Refinery Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy). Following a series of explosions and a massive fire last week (see Massive Explosion, Fire at Philadelphia Refinery), PES has announced it will be closing down over the next two weeks, throwing 1,020 people out of work.
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Massive Explosion, Fire at Philadelphia Refinery

PES fire

Last Friday around 4 am there was a series of three explosions and a massive fire at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) Refining Complex, the East Coast’s oldest and largest oil refinery. It took fire fighters until Saturday afternoon to extinguish the blaze. The main concern was that if the fire reached a tank of hydrofluoric acid used in the refining process it would be released as hydrogen fluoride (a poison), affecting nearby residents. Fortunately that didn’t happen. The thing about the story that caught our attention is that propane and butane (potentially sourced from the Marcellus) are what fed the fire.
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MarkWest, Contractor Fined $98K for SWPA Gas Plant Explosion

In mid-December there was an explosion at a MarkWest Energy natural gas processing plant in Chartiers (Washington County), PA, injuring four people (see MarkWest Plant Explosion in Washington Co. Injures 4; 1 Critical). Unfortunately one the workers later died (see Sad Postscript: Man Dies of Injuries from MarkWest SWPA Explosion). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the incident and has just fined MarkWest and a contractor (that employed the workers) a cumulative $98,508.
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Dominion Investigating Condensate Tank Fire in Tyler, WV

On May 25, lightning struck a 1 million gallon condensate tank near Friendly (Tyler County), WV on a Saturday afternoon (see Lightning Strikes Huge Condensate Tank in Tyler, WV – Fire Now Out). At least, that’s the theory. The strike (if that’s what it was) ignited the tank, creating a “massive” fire according to news accounts. Dominion Energy, owner of the tank, is still investigating to see how the fire began (was it really lightning?), and how such accident can be avoided in the future.
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PA Shuts Down 2 NatGas Pipes in Clarion County Following Explosion

Last Tuesday evening a 68-year-old woman was home in her bed in Clarion County, PA when she heard an explosion and a wall collapsed on her. She freed herself from the rubble and drove to a neighbor’s house for assistance. The home, a garage and greenhouse were all destroyed as a result of the explosion and fire. The cause? Natural gas “migrating” in the basement of the home. A local delivery pipeline and a nearby transmission pipeline were both taken out of service while the PA Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) investigation unit takes a look at the cause.
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Caught on Video: Frack Sand Train Goes Off Rails Near Scranton

Derailed train in Dickson City – click for larger version

Around noon yesterday, a train moving slowly, at 10 miles per hour, was hauling lumber and frack sand from Scranton to nearby Carbondale, when a video surveillance camera caught the train leaving the rails. Ten cars derailed, with three tipping over completely (spilling sand) and one teetering on the brink. The video, taken from a police station across the street, is amazing.
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What Caused the MI NatGas Compressor Stn Fire in January?

You may recall MDN covering the story of the compressor station in Michigan that caught fire and exploded in January (see Michigan NatGas Compressor Station Catches Fire, Explodes). That single compressor (single point of failure, as it turns out) is responsible for pumping natgas to two-thirds of Michigan residents. After a two-month investigation, the station’s owner says it knows what happened, which can be summed up as a series of unfortunate events.
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Sunoco, DEP Settle on $200K Fine for ME1 Pipe Leak in 2017

The Mariner East 1 pipeline sprung a small leak and spilled 20 barrels (~840 gallons) of ethane and propane in Berks County, near Philadelphia, on April 1, 2017 (see Mariner East 1 Sprang a Small NGL Leak Near Philly, on Apr 1). Sunoco Logistics Partners (i.e. Energy Transfer), builder and maintainer of the pipeline, shut it down and fixed it over the next several days. It took the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), which oversees regulation of the pipeline, a year and a half to investigate.
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Exploded Tetco Pipe in Ohio Back Online – 10 Weeks Later

A 30-inch segment of Enbridge’s Texas Eastern Transmission Company (Tetco) interstate natural gas pipeline exploded in January, sending two people to the hospital and destroying two nearby homes when fires from the blast spread (see Texas Eastern Pipeline Explodes in Noble County, OH – Injuries). The pipeline is now, after 10 weeks, fully back online and flowing at 100% capacity. We have an update on how the outage affected flows in the region, and the likely cause for the explosion.
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Man Killed in Accident at Hilcorp Well Pad in Lawrence County, PA

An Indiana County, PA man was working at a Hilcorp drill pad in North Beaver Township (Lawrence County), PA, helping to load “large sections of steel pipeline and drilling equipment” onto a truck when the load became unstable and a large pipe fell from the truck and struck/killed the man. Leonard Clair Long, Jr., 60 years old, died at the scene. He worked for Hilcorp subcontractor Ziegenfuss Drilling.
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CNG Trailer Rolls Over in Upstate NY, Closes Interstate

Credit: Fulton County Area News (click for larger version)

A tractor trailer hauling CNG (compressed natural gas) overturned Sunday morning on Interstate 88 near Cobleskill in Schoharie County, closing the Interstate for a few hours. This is one of those “virtual pipelines” we’ve written plenty about (see our stories here).

3/8/19 UPDATE: The driver fell asleep at the wheel causing the crash. See below.
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CNX Faulty Utica Well in SWPA Will Cost Company $30M+

CNX was fracking their Shaw 1G Utica well in Washington Township (Westmoreland County) on Saturday, Jan. 26, when they detected “a strong drop in pressure” and stopped fracking (see CNX Hits Major Problem Fracking Utica Well Near SWPA Reservoir). Turns out the well was “communicating” (i.e. losing gas to) several nearby conventional wells.
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CNX Rogue Utica Well in SWPA Affects 9 Vertical Wells, Maybe More

CNX was fracking their Shaw 1G Utica well in Washington Township on Saturday, Jan. 26, when they detected “a strong drop in pressure” and stopped fracking (see CNX Hits Major Problem Fracking Utica Well Near SWPA Reservoir). Turns out the well was “communicating” (i.e. losing gas to) several nearby conventional wells.
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