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Explosion shuts natural gas pipeline in Wyo

Explosion shuts natural gas pipeline in Wyo

Friday, July 22, 2011

Explosion shuts natural gas pipeline in Wyo
By Wyoming Business Report Staff

The Bison Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that begins in northeastern Wyoming, ruptured and then exploded on Wednesday night, 20 miles west of Gillette. Official reports say there were no injuries or property damage in the explosion.

TransCanada, owner of the pipeline, closed the pipeline to work with regulatory agencies while they conduct an investigation. The cause of the explosion is unknown.

According to TransCanada, the Bison Pipeline went into operation on Jan. 14, 2010. The 303-mile, 30-inch-diameter interstate pipeline had an initial capacity of 407 million cubic feet a day, all of which are under long-term contract, the TransCanada website says. With additional compression, the pipeline is expandable to 1 billion cubic feet a day.

A 60-foot section of the pipeline was destroyed, and pieces of the pipe were found in the surrounding area. Company officials said the gas flow was shut down about 15 minutes after the occurrence.

While the amount of natural gas that was vented in the explosion has not been determined, earlier in the day, the Bison was reported to have been transporting 365 million cubic feet of natural gas.

A story posted online for the Washington Post noted that the Wyoming
Pipeline Authority says other pipelines have enough surplus capacity to
make up for the Bison Pipeline while it's closed.

Bison begins in northeastern Wyoming and travels northeast through Montana and North Dakota before connecting with Northern Border Pipeline Company in North Dakota. Natural gas transported on Bison will reach Midwest markets via Northern Border. Bison is TransCanada’s first pipeline to access natural gas produced in the U.S. Rocky Mountain region.