Gas pipeline that burst in Oklahoma back in service

ROSSTON — Crews have repaired a northwest Oklahoma pipeline that burst earlier this month, shooting flames into the sky that were visible for miles.

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Modified: October 25, 2013 at 10:13 am •  Published: October 25, 2013
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ROSSTON — Crews have repaired a natural gas pipeline that burst earlier this month in northwest Oklahoma, shooting flames into the sky that were visible for miles.

No one was hurt in the Oct. 8 explosion in a rural area of Harper County near the Kansas border. The pipeline is owned by Northern Natural Gas Company of Omaha, Neb.

Company spokesman Mike Loeffler said that the pipeline is repaired and back in service, and customers who had been without natural gas for two weeks had their service restored Wednesday.

Four homes were evacuated for several hours as a precaution, and some reported seeing the flames 30 miles away. Several who witnessed the fire described it as "the sun coming up in the north," the Woodward News reported (http://bit.ly/17NMPU9 ) Wednesday. Northern Natural Gas purchases raw and cleaned gas from operators in northwest Oklahoma and ships it through the 30-inch pipeline to other companies that refine it further and deliver it for sale to the public, Loeffler said.

All joints were repaired on the pipe between its gate or block valves, which allow the isolation of a section of a pipeline in emergency situations, as was needed after the Oct. 8 explosion, Loeffler said.

"Even though all of the pipeline in that section wasn't involved, we replaced that whole section of pipeline," he said.

The cause of the explosion is still being investigated.

"We are doing a full investigation into the cause of the explosion and what that means is that we send the pipe to the lab for analysis and that may take a few more weeks," Loeffler said