Tornado Shuts Devon Gas Plant

Friday, May 27, 2011 @ 01:05 PM gHale

It will be at least two weeks before Devon Energy Corp. gets its new natural gas processing near Calumet, OK, plant back online after it suffered damage from flying debris from a Tuesday tornado, a company spokesman said.

The storm destroyed a drilling rig operated nearby by Denver-based Cimarex Energy Co.

Devon officials are assessing the damage to the $140 million plant, but spokesman Chip Minty said it likely will take several weeks to determine the extent of the damage and repair it.

He said no one at the plant suffered injury when a tornado struck a salvage yard near the plant, located just north of Interstate 40 near Calumet.

“We knew this storm was coming so we had time to shut this plant in and secure it,” Minty said. “All of our employees were able to move into our on-site storm shelter.”

No one suffered any injuries when the Cimarex-operated rig near the Devon plant fell in the path of Tuesday’s tornado, said Steve Bell, the company’s senior vice president. He said they evacuated the rig, owned by Oklahoma City’s Cactus Drilling Co., before the twister hit.

In the aftermath of the storm, Devon shut production at some of its wells until the company can find some alternate processing capacity.

The damaged plant was capable of processing up to 200 million cubic feet of gas a day, Minty said. Devon has been producing about 160 million cubic feet of gas a day in western Oklahoma.

He said Devon can move about 50,000 cubic feet of dry gas a day to a large compressor station in the area, but the company is working with some third-party processors to take up the slack from its damaged plant.

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