WY Gas Pipeline Pressures Up

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 @ 04:11 PM gHale


TransCanada can now go to full pressure on a new gas pipeline in northeast Wyoming that ruptured for reasons that still aren’t entirely clear.

Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada doesn’t have quite enough gas to take full advantage of the recent approval from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The Bison Pipeline is running at 85 percent capacity.

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The 30-inch pipeline ruptured July 20 and spewed a brown cloud into the sky 20 miles northwest of Gillette. The rupture shook the ground a mile away but the gas didn’t ignite.

Results of metallurgical tests aren’t back and the agency in the U.S. Department of Transportation is still investigating the rupture, agency spokesman Damon Hill said. Still, it decided it would be OK to allow the pipeline to return to normal operations starting Oct. 8.

“The regional director determined that the hazard has been basically taken care of,” Hill said.

TransCanada spokesman David Dodson said Monday TransCanada determined something struck and damaged the pipe, though how or when that happened remains unknown.

The pipeline across southeast Montana into North Dakota began shipping gas in January.

The Bison Pipeline can ship up to 407 million cubic feet of gas per day but has been running at about 350 million cubic feet per day. Additional approved compression could allow up to 477 million cubic feet per day and the pipeline’s capacity could be expanded to 1 billion cubic feet per day, according to TransCanada.



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