Pengrowth Alberta pipeline explodes, no injuries

Sun Jan 2, 2011 7:12pm EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A Pengrowth Energy Corp gas pipeline in north central Alberta exploded and caught fire on Saturday, forcing it to shut-in part of its production, the company said on Sunday.

The Calgary, Alberta-based company said the rupture in the Swan Hills gas gathering pipeline system, north of the Judy Creek gas processing facility, resulted in an explosion and subsequent fire.

Pengrowth said the pipeline was quickly isolated and contained and no injuries occurred. The pipeline is being depressured and the fire was minimal and contained to the immediate area of the rupture, it added.

"The pipeline rupture and fire caused very limited damage or public disruption, as it occurred in a relatively isolated area with no other oil and gas facilities nearby and no public buildings or private residences in the vicinity," the company said in a statement.

"No specific cause of the pipeline rupture and fire is known at this time and a full investigation is being conducted."

The explosion has forced Pengrowth to shut-in about 2,200 barrels of oil equivalent per day of production because of the need to reduce gas production from several nearby oilfields until repairs can be made, the company said.

It expects repairs to take five to ten days.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)