West Texas LPG Pipeline explodes in Milford, Tex.

The 10-in. OD West Texas LPG Pipeline operated by Chevron Pipeline Co. in partnership with Atlas Pipeline Partners LP ruptured at 9:40 a.m. local time and sparked a large fire in rural Milford, Tex., about 50 miles south of Dallas. Fire crews were letting the fire burn itself out, with local officials estimating this would take roughly 24 hr.

A mobile drilling rig was located at the center of the blast. Local officials reported the rig’s crew was able to escape safely.

Roughly 230 students attending Milford Independent School District were evacuated to schools in nearby Italy, Tex., with some of the about 800 residents of Milford also evacuated as a precaution. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) closed US Highway 77 and FM 308, both of which run near the fire site. A response team from the US Environmental Protection Agency was en route from Dallas.

A lieutenant with the Ellis County Sheriff’s office confirmed that there were no injuries and that other pipelines in the area were now being identified to prevent additional explosions.

The West Texas LPG Pipeline also failed on Sept. 8, 2011, on a segment called the Coahoma LPG Loop, resulting in the release of more than 13,000 bbl. The product released from the pipeline vaporized and ignited, causing a brush fire. The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said the fire was probably ignited by a production pump starting and caused more than $1.5-million of property damage. The failure occurred near the fillet weld of a reinforcing sleeve.

The roughly 2,750-mile West Texas LPG Pipeline extends from natural gas processing facilities in West Texas and New Mexico to storage sites in Mont Belvieu, Tex.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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