A natural gas pipeline explosion in rural Oklahoma near Texas late on Jan. 30 sent flames rising more than 500 ft that destroyed power lines but caused no injuries, according to local officials and system operator Phillips 66.
The rupture and fire about 60 miles west of Woodward, Okla., were extinguished early on Jan. 31 with no health threats to neighboring towns, said a statement from Phillips 66, parent company of DCP Midstream which operates the 435-mile Front Range pipeline between Weld County, Colo. and Skelleytown, Texas, in the southern part of the state.
No cause for the rupture has been officially determined. However, the working theory is the fire started in an 8-in. feeder pipe, spread to the main natural gas pipeline and caused a rupture, said one Phillip 66 employee, who spoke anonymously.
“Phillips 66’s first priority in responding to this incident is ensuring the safety and health of its workers, emergency responders and the surrounding community,” the statement said.
Affected pipeline sections now are closed, Phillips 66 said.
The incident is under investigation by the U.S Transportation Dept. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Oklahoma Commission Corporation, a Beaver County, Okla., Office of Emergency Management official told ENR.
He added the state Dept. of Environmental Quality is on scene examining the environmental impact of the explosion.
Several local fire and law enforcement agencies responded, and roads near the site were temporarily closed. Local first responders reported via social media that nine fire departments that responded were kept away from affected sections until gas could be shut off.