Colonial completes broken line removal

OREANDA-NEWS. October 14, 2016. Colonial Pipeline earlier this month removed a broken section of pipe that caused its longest significant outage in decades.

The company said today it completed removal of a section of Line 1 outside Pelham, Alabama, in the first week of October. Colonial declined to comment on when it might replace the broken section, but said a 500-foot bypass allowing full rates on its 1.3mn b/d gasoline trunk line continued to operate safely.

Line 1 and its distillates-bearing twin, Line 2, move product from Texas and Louisiana refiners to southeastern markets and to Greensboro, North Carolina. The trunk lines are part of a vital 5,500-mile (8,851km) products system connecting the US Gulf coast to the New York Harbor market.

Colonial shut both lines on 9 September after a state mining employee reported dead wildlife, contaminated mining retention ponds and strong fumes at the site. Line 2 restarted after the company determined gasoline had leaked, but the estimated 8,000 bl release saturated soil and slowed response for Line 1. Colonial was able to wrap and restart a Georgia line segment earlier this year in roughly a day. The Pelham break took two weeks to restart.

Lab testing to determine what caused the break will likely take months, the company said.