Leach Xpress Pipeline Service Delayed until Mid-July
TransCanada Corp's Columbia Gas Transmission unit pushed back the date of its Leach Xpress natural gas pipeline in West Virginia. Service will be resumed mid-July. The pipe was damaged in a blast on June 7.
The Leach shutdown forced producers using the line to find other pipes to move gas out of the Marcellus and Utica shale regions of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.
Alternative pipelines include ETP's Rover, Tallgrass Energy Partners LP's Rockies Express (REX), EQT Midstream Partners LP's Equitrans and Enbridge (ENB)'s Tetco, according to analysts at S&P Global Platts.
Columbia Gas, which declared a force majeure after the blast, said the damaged section of pipe in Marshall County could affect movement of about 1.3 billion cubic feet per day. One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to fuel about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.
Energy analysts, however, said overall output in the Appalachian region experienced minor change from the blast while producers, such as Range Resources Corp and Southwestern Energy Co, found other pipes to move their gas.
Appalachian output has increased to around 28.0 bcfd in recent days, up from around 27.5 bcfd before the blast, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The 1.5-bcfd Leach Xpress in West Virginia and Ohio, which began full service at the start of this year, transports Marcellus and Utica shale gas to consumers in the U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast.
The 12,000-mile Columbia pipeline system, which TransCanada (TRP) acquired in 2016, serves millions of customers from New York to the Gulf of Mexico.
Reporting by Scott DiSavino