UPDATE 1-Fire damages Atlas Energy natgas compressor in Indiana

Fri May 23, 2014 2:28pm EDT

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May 23 (Reuters) - A fire early Friday damaged a natural gas compressor station owned by a unit of Atlas Energy LP in Widner Township in southwest Indiana, a spokesman for the company said.

Brian Begley, the spokesman, said the company was investigating the cause of the fire, which was put out within an hour or so. There were no injuries.

He said the facility is a compressor station that helps move gas gathered from nearby wells to a takeaway pipe that connects to a bigger pipeline system.

Begley could not immediately say how much gas moves through the station each day or which pipeline system the plant feeds into.

He said the company has not drilled new wells in the area in five years or so but continues to gather gas from wells drilled in the past.

He could not say when the compressor station would likely return to service or whether any gas was now stranded due to the fire.

Widner Township Fire Chief Patrick Reynolds told Reuters the fire occurred at about 4 a.m. local time and took about 30 minutes to contain.

Reynolds said between 50 and 60 firefighters from several nearby departments were on the scene for about two and a half hours. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid, Steve Orlofsky and James Dalgleish)

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