Transportation news briefs, Aug. 9

Westcoast Energy � Pembina Pipeline � Trailblazer Pipeline � Kinder Morgan Energy Partners � Enron Trailblazer Pipeline � Tyumen Oil

A natural gas pipeline explosion adjacent to a major highway east of Vancouver, BC, early Aug. 7 closed the highway for 4 hr. No one was hurt in the explosion, which occurred next to a rest station and toll booths on the normally busy toll highway between Kamloops, BC, and Vancouver. It shattered car windows and hurled rocks across the highway. Westcoast Energy Inc., Vancouver, owner and operator of the 30-in. line, said the blast created a crater 36 ft wide and 98 ft long next to the highway. Westcoast and provincial officials are investigating the cause of the pipeline rupture.

Pembina Pipeline Corp. said it will not put its repaired pipeline back in service until laboratory results are completed and the cause of the Aug. 1 rupture of a segment of its pipeline near Chetwynd, BC, is fully investigated (OGJ Online, Aug. 7, 2000). "We take our responsibility for the environment and people seriously and feel this action is necessary at this time," said Pembina Pres. Bob Michaleski. It is unknown when the pipeline will be returned to operation. Alternative routes for oil transportation are being found for Pembina's affected customers.

Trailblazer Pipeline Co. announced an open season on a proposed expansion to its system, which will provide additional capacity of 300,000 dekatherms/day. The open season began Aug. 7 and will close Aug. 18. The proposed expansion would originate in Rockport, Colo., and terminate in Gage County, Neb. "Significant growth in Rocky Mountain natural gas supplies has prompted a need for additional pipeline transportation service," said Richard D. Kinder, chairman and CEO of Houston-based Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, which owns a two-thirds interest in Trailblazer. Enron Corp. subsidiary Enron Trailblazer Pipeline Co., Houston, owns the remaining third.

A fire broke out Aug. 8 at the Lysychansk-Kremenchuk oil pipeline in the Luhansk region of Ukraine, 2 km from the Lysychansk oil refinery, reported the BBC, citing a Ukrainian television report. One person was killed and four were injured. According to the BBC report, the fire broke out after a bulldozer accidentally damaged the oil pipeline. The fire began to burn less fiercely once the oil flow was interrupted. Fire-fighting work is still under way. Ukraine recently named a subsidiary of Russian oil company Tyumen Oil the winner of a tender for 67.41% of that refinery (OGJ Online, July 27, 2000).

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