MarkWest reroutes natgas from damaged Pennsylvania facility

Thu May 29, 2014 3:01pm EDT

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May 29 (Reuters) - MarkWest Energy Partners LP said on Thursday it is assessing the damage at a natural gas processing plant in southwest Pennsylvania and is working with customers to reroute some of their gas to another location.

MarkWest said in a statement there were no apparent signs of a fire but first responders initially said there was a small fire at the facility likely caused by a lightning strike.

The incident occurred at MarkWest's Houston processing and fractionation complex in Houston, Pennsylvania, at approximately 6:00 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT) on Wednesday, the company said.

The company said there were no reported injuries but the area was safely and temporarily evacuated as a precaution.

The Houston complex consists of processing plants I, II and III totaling 355 million cubic feet per day of capacity and 98,000 barrels per day of ethane and other natural gas liquids.

The plant processes Marcellus shale natural gas.

MarkWest said it is routing some gas through its "rich-gas header system" to the Majorsville complex in Marshall County, West Virginia.

The Majorsville complex currently consists of 870 MMcf/d of processing capacity.

Although workers have not completed a full assessment of all plant equipment, an initial visual assessment of damage indicates that the impact was limited to one component of the plant III facility, the company said.

The entire complex remains shut down until the assessment is completed. At this time, it appears that no other equipment at the facility was affected, the company said. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Diane Craft)

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