Production resumes after Marcellus Shale pipeline rupture

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Gastar Exploration Inc. reported today that production from its Marshall County, West Virginia operations resumed Wednesday night at reduced rates following a 4-1/2 day shut-in that resulted from the rupture Saturday morning of a natural gas pipeline operated by Williams Partners.

The explosion – which occured on 5th April – created a 10-foot crater, and the resulting fire scorched trees over an approximately 2-acre area. Although there were no reported injuries associated with the accident, Williams Energy – which processes natural gas in the county for Chesapeake Energy, Chevron Appalachia, Stone Energy, Noble Energy, and Trans Energy – evacuated residents of five homes in the vicinity of the Saturday rupture for precautionary purposes. Other residents fled without receiving direction to evacuate.

Williams Partners LP, which owns and operates the 12-inch diameter line, believes it slipped and ruptured when wet weather and warm temperatures caused the land underneath it to shift.

The incident is still being investigated by The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Enforcement division.

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