January 22, 2019 / 9:44 PM / 9 months ago

Enbridge's TETCO Ohio pipe blast causes gas flows to decline

Jan 22 (Reuters) - The flow of natural gas through parts of Enbridge Inc’s Texas Eastern (TETCO) pipeline dropped on Tuesday following an explosion in Noble County in southeast Ohio on Monday.

The explosion, which occurred on TETCO’s 30-inch (76.2 cm) line about two miles south of Summerfield, Ohio, at around 10:40 a.m. EST (1540 GMT), injured two people living nearby and damaged three homes, Enbridge said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Calgary-based company said it was working with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to identify the cause, monitor repairs and evaluate environmental impacts.

Before the blast, there were 2.1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of gas flowing through the pipeline in Monroe County, Ohio, according Refinitiv, a financial data provider. Monroe County is east of Noble County where the explosion occurred.

On Tuesday, however, flows through TETCO in Monroe County fell to 1.3 bcfd. One billion cubic feet is enough gas for about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

Flows also declined in Athens and Scioto Counties in southern Ohio and Bath, Monroe and Boyle Counties in eastern and south central Kentucky, according to the Refinitiv data.

In addition, flows reversed direction in Greene County in southwest Pennsylvania. Greene County is one of the state’s biggest gas producing counties.

Officials at Enbridge could not immediately say which direction the gas was flowing through the damaged pipeline. They said there were three pipes in the area of the blast.

The 9,029-mile (14,531-km) TETCO pipeline was designed to carry gas from the U.S. Gulf Coast and Texas to high-demand markets in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Over the past five years or so, TETCO became bi-directional, which means it can also carry gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, where production is growing rapidly, to markets in the U.S. Midwest and the Gulf Coast.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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