U.S. natgas output drops on pipeline release in West Virginia

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July 1 (Reuters) - TC Energy Corp's (TRP.TO) Columbia Gas Transmission (TCO) natural gas pipeline unit said late on Wednesday that an "operational event" in West Virginia cut gas supply by about 2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Thursday.

Specifically, TCO said an "upstream MarkWest operational event (was) affecting the Sherwood and Mobley plants" in West Virginia.

MarkWest is owned by Marathon Petroleum Corp's (MPC.N) MPLX LP (MPLX.N) unit. "At approximately 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday ... MPLX pipeline monitoring systems detected a release of product from a (natural gas liquids) pipeline at our Majorsville facility in West Virginia," Marathon spokesperson Jamal Kheiry said.

"Personnel immediately closed off the line and the release has been controlled. Operations at certain other MPLX facilities in the region have been curtailed," Kheiry said. "There were no off-site impacts and no injuries," adding that there is not yet a timeline for completion of repairs.

The event affected gas flows to several pipes from the Sherwood and Mobley plants, including Equitrans Midstream Corp's (ETRN.N) Equitrans pipe, which fell from 0.4 bcfd earlier in the week to zero on Thursday, Energy Transfer LP's (ET.N) Rover, which fell from 0.8 bcfd to zero, and TCO, which fell from 0.7 bcfd to zero, according to data from Refinitiv.

Overall, Refinitiv said output in the Lower 48 states dropped from 89.0 bcfd on Wednesday to a preliminary 85.4 bcfd on Thursday, which would be the lowest since gas wells and pipes froze in Texas during February.

Energy traders said only some of that Lower 48 decline was related to the Markwest event. The rest was likely what they called "noise" in the data that often occurs at the start of the month.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler

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