Texas Eastern Pipeline Explodes in Noble County, OH – Injuries

Fires from Texas Eastern Pipeline explosion (click for larger version, credit: WTRF Channel 7)

A 30-inch segment of Enbridge’s Texas Eastern interstate natural gas pipeline in Noble County, OH exploded yesterday sending two people to the hospital and destroying two nearby homes. The pipeline was built in the early 1950s and was last inspected in 2012.
Continue reading

Range SWPA Production Takes Hit After MarkWest Plant Explosion

Range Resources issued an updated 2018 (not 2019) capital spending and operational update yesterday to say (a) they spent about $20 million less last year than originally forecast and (b) the company took a hit on production because of an outage at the MarkWest Houston/Harmon Creek processing facilities.
Continue reading

Sad Postscript: Man Dies of Injuries from MarkWest SWPA Explosion

As we previously reported, an explosion and fire last week at the MarkWest Energy natural gas processing plant in Chartiers (Washington County), PA sent four people to the hospital–carried there by helicopter (see MarkWest Plant Explosion in Washington Co. Injures 4; 1 Critical). We are profoundly sad to report that the man who was in critical condition has died. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office reported that Jeffery Fisher, 61, of Salem, WV died at 3:38 p.m. Tuesday at UPMC Mercy hospital. Below is an update on the situation, with additional new details.
Continue reading

MarkWest Plant Explosion in Washington Co. Injures 4; 1 Critical

An explosion and fire last night around 6 pm at the MarkWest Energy natural gas processing plant in Chartiers (Washington County), PA sent four people to the hospital–carried there by helicopter. All of them remain hospitalized, and one of them is, sadly, in critical condition. The explosion happened near “two temporary tanks that were onsite for routine maintenance,” according to a MarkWest statement. The tanks hold, “liquid ethylene glycol plus hydrocarbons”–used to clean incoming raw natural gas. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection is on location today to determine what happened and why–and to ensure there have been no negative impacts to the environment.
Continue reading

Sunoco Fined $225K for Small Leak on ME1 Pipeline 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 (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. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), which oversees regulation of the pipeline, has just (a year and a half later) “requested” Sunoco pay $225,000 for violating various state and federal regulations. It was an $11,250 per barrel spill.
Continue reading

2 Workers Injured Working on Mariner East 2 Pipe Near Pittsburgh

Pipeline Inspection Gauge

Two workers were injured, one seriously, when a “pig” they were operating at a section of the nearly completed Mariner East 2 pipeline (near Pittsburgh, in Westmoreland County) accelerated and hit them late Sunday. What’s a pig? It stands for Pipeline Inspection Gauge–a device used inside a pipeline for cleaning, inspection and maintenance, and fluid batching. A pig is pushed along the inside of the pipeline by the flow of liquid or gas or (in this case), air. A pig launching station is used to insert the pig into a pipeline using a series of valves and hatches. The pig is pushed through the pipeline by the fluid/gas/air to the pig receiving station. We don’t have all the details for how this accident happened. What we know is that two workers, a man and a woman, were operating the pig when it hit them. Both were taken to the hospital. The woman was later released, but the man sustained a broken arm and is still hospitalized.
Continue reading

Truck Accident Spills 4,200 Gal. of Wastewater in Lycoming County

A truck hauling produced water–naturally occurring water from the depths that continues coming out of a drilled well long after it’s been fracked–overturned and spilled approximately 4,200 gallons of that wastewater. The wastewater, often called “brine” due to its minerally or salty composition, came from Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) shale wells and was being hauled by Stallion Oilfield Services. It spilled on the ground “adjacent” to a “native trout stream” in the Pine Creek area in Lycoming County, PA.
Continue reading

NTSB: Columbia Gas Unlicensed Engineer Error Led to Mass. Tragedy

Ever see a someone’s name listed on a business card or in a directory, and there’s a “PE” after his or her name? Know what that means? It means Professional Engineer. To get a PE, an engineer must complete a four-year college degree, work under a Professional Engineer for at least four years, pass two intensive competency exams and earn a license from their state’s licensure board. The engineer who drafted plans for NiSource Columbia Gas to replace gas mains about 25 miles north of Boston, in Lawrence, MA, didn’t have a PE after his name. And the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says it was his fault that when the gas main was replaced, the old main still had sensors that detected low pressure and kept pressurizing (overpressurizing) the gas system that led to multiple explosions and one person dying, 25 injured, and 8,000 residences and business still without natural gas service some two months later.
Continue reading

Accident Kills Rig Worker on Shell Well Pad in Tioga County, PA

Middlebury Township, Tioga County

This news is a couple of weeks old, but we’ve only just happened across it while researching another story. On the morning of October 27, Mark Jones, an employee of Deep Well Services, was working at a Shell rig site in Tioga County, PA when “a large piece of equipment fell on him, pinning him to the platform 65 feet in the air where he was standing.” The blunt force trauma, hitting him in the head, killed him. We are always saddened to read of such accidents. Here is the one and only story we could locate describing what happened:
Continue reading

Did Shale Well Methane Migration Cause SWPA Home to Explode?

On Wednesday a man in Clarksville (Green County), PA turned on his gas stove and it exploded, catching fire to and leveling the entire house. The man, his girlfriend and young child were helicoptered to a hospital burn unit. The working theory/assumptions are (a) the man didn’t smell mercaptan, therefore the source of the gas that exploded was not from the stove or line into the house itself, and (b) because there is an EQT shale well “across the street” and a gathering pipeline that runs “next to the house,” methane “may have” migrated from the shale well to the home, or methane leaked from the gathering line into the home.
Continue reading

Columbia Gas Moves Date Back to Dec. on Fixes re Boston Tragedy

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (NiSource) continues to try and recover (physically and reputationally) from a series of explosions in its local delivery pipelines north of Boston in mid-September (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25). The explosions and resulting fires tragically killed one teenager and injured 25 others. It left some 8,600 households and businesses without natural gas–for months. In early October, Columbia said it would replace all ~48 miles of natural gas mains, and all 6,100 affected service lines, by Nov. 19 (see Columbia’s Master Plan to Restore Gas Service in Mass. by Nov 19). While the main lines will be done early, by tomorrow in fact, Columbia, in something of a public relations disaster, is pushing back the date of finishing the service lines by about a month, into December. Meanwhile, the family of the teenager who was killed is preparing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Continue reading

Columbia Gas Already 80% Done Replacing 48 Miles of Exploded Pipes

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (NiSource) continues to try and recover from a series of explosions in its local delivery pipelines north of Boston in mid-September (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25). The explosions and resulting fires tragically killed one teenager and injured 25 others. It left some 8,600 households and businesses without natural gas–for months. In early October, Columbia said it would replace all ~48 miles of natural gas mains, and all 6,100 affected service lines, by Nov. 19 (see Columbia’s Master Plan to Restore Gas Service in Mass. by Nov 19). To Columbia’s credit, 80% of the mains are already done, and over half of the service lines.
Continue reading

NTSB Report: Columbia Gas Bad Work Order Caused Explosions

Click for larger version

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has just released a preliminary report on what caused a series of explosions and fires in a natural gas pipeline system 25 miles northwest of Boston in mid-September (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25). The NTSB confirmed that the cause was overpressurized pipes due to workers capping off an old pipeline that contained sensors telling the system to pump more gas than needed. The question becomes, Who’s at fault? NTSB says the fault lies clearly Columbia Gas themselves.
Continue reading

Antis Want Mass. Residents Affected by Blast to Give Up NatGas

We’ve extensively covered the tragic accident and aftermath of Columbia Gas’ natural gas delivery pipelines exploding near Boston in mid-September. The explosions and resulting fires tragically killed one teenager and injured 25 others. It left some 8,600 households and businesses without natural gas–for months. Now anti-fossil fuel advocates say those 8,600 households should just forget about natural gas, forever, and instead convert to sky-high electric for their energy needs. They call it a “green new deal”–meaning make Columbia Gas pay to convert your home to all-electric appliances and heat pumps. We call it a “green raw deal.”
Continue reading