* Up to 10 unaccounted for after blast
* Enterprise Products says it owns pipeline
(Recasts, updates details, adds market analysis)
HOUSTON, June 7 A natural gas pipeline
explosion in North Texas killed three people on Monday
afternoon, according to a local official.
As many as 10 others may be missing, said Chester Nolen,
city manager of Cleburne, Texas.
"We've heard between three and 10 people are unaccounted
for," Nolen said. "The facts are very fluid right now. We're
trying to pull together information from three hospitals."
A Texas state trooper said eight workers from Brazos
Electric, a generation and transmission cooperative, were
digging a hole near the pipe when the blast occurred.
"They were drilling holes to put up power lines when they
struck the gas line," said State Trooper Dub Gillum with the
Texas Department of Public Safety. "Most of them got out and
Five workers were taken to the Glen Rose Medical Center in
Glen Rose, Texas, by private vehicle, said Gary Marks, chief
executive of the medical center. The five men had suffered
burns and were listed in stable condition.
Enterprise Products Partners (EPD.N) said it owns the
36-inch pipeline, which is part of its Texas Intrastate system.
The explosion was 15 miles south of Godley, Texas.
The Texas intrastate pipeline system transports natural gas
within the borders of the state of Texas.
One energy analyst said the gas pipeline blast could add to
jitters about energy supply from across the Gulf Coast, where
the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has prompted the
government to place limitations on drilling .
"The explosion comes at a time when uncertainty surrounds
future drilling activities amid a moratorium that the
government has imposed," said Phil Flynn, analyst with PFGBest
Research in Chicago. "It comes at a time when forecasts for
Gulf of Mexico natural gas production are falling and just
after the recent ominous forecast about the current hurricane
season had been priced in" to futures markets.
(Reporting by Erwin Seba, Bruce Nichols, Eileen O'Grady and
Kristen Hays in Houston and Gene Ramos in New York)