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Ethane pipeline closed due to fire

Williams Partners LP’s Ohio Valley Ethane Pipeline is out of business due to a fire that broke out at a metering station on Christmas Eve.

The fire broke out near Houston, Pennsylvania, at the metering station in Chartiers Township. The cause is still unknown. Williams spokeswoman Sara Delgado stated at 10 p.m. on December 24, the company’s control center received an alarm. The alarm led employees working to close the main line valve to stop the flow of ethane.

No injuries were recorded.

Delgado explained the procedure the company and local emergency responders followed:

 Williams personnel and local emergency responders worked in coordination at the site … As a precaution, emergency responders evacuated approximately a dozen homes in the vicinity. Residents were allowed to return to their homes at approximately 12:30 a.m.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is being conducted, and it was reported that it is unsure when the pipeline will be up and running again.

The pipeline, which runs 50 miles long and is 12 inches in diameter, transports ethane from Williams’ Oak Grove natural gas processing facility located in Marshall County, West Virginia, to an ethane hub in Houston, Pennsylvania.

In related news, Shale drilling in Ohio, neighboring states could support three large ethane cracker plants.

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