Feds Probe Fatal Enterprise Products Plant Blast

March 2011, Vol. 238 No. 3

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a Feb. 8 fire at a natural gas processing plant in Mont Belvieu, TX that killed one worker. Investigators found the remains of Rick Shaw a day after a fire ignited in what may have been a ruptured pipeline that carried natural gas. The blast occurred at the Enterprise Products plant.

Enterprise spokesman Rick Rainey said the company is investigating the cause of the fire, and pipeline failure would be considered. The company said two of its four natural gas liquids fractionation units were online and operational by Feb. 10. The fire occurred in an NGL storage area away from the main part of the MTBV complex that houses Enterprise’s NGL and propylene fractionators, butane isomerization units and other processing facilities, none of which were damaged by the fire.

There was minimal impact to the MTBV facilities directly and Enterprise indicated that upstream gas processing facilities and gas plant production were not materially affected by service disruptions resulting from the fire.

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