Just yesterday, a fire broke out at a Texas natural gas plant owned by Anadarko Petroleum. All of the workers on the site at the time were accounted for on the day of the accident, with two minor injuries of an unknown nature reported.
The fire began December 3 at approximately 10:00 a.m. local time and occurred at the 300 MMcf/d Ramsey Natural Gas Processing Plant near the city of Orla, Texas, which is only a few miles from the Texas-Mexico border. Approximately 200 employees were evacuated from the site that is owned by Western Gas Partners, a unit of Anadarko.
The company reported the fire was contained to one area of the plant as of around 2:00 p.m the same day. A day later, the fire was still being allowed to burn even though the natural gas feeds were shut off. As a result, the cause of the fire has not been established and there is no estimate for when operations will resume. Trading of the company stock went down one percent at the end of Thursday.
At the time of the fire, the Ramsey plant included cryogenic processing complex with a capacity of 300 million cubic feet per day and an additional 400 million cubic feet per day of capacity that was scheduled to be in service later in 2015.
“In the interest of safety we continue to allow the fire, which is contained to one area of the plant and has significantly diminished, to burn itself out,” said company spokesperson John Christiansen. “All lines coming in and out of the plant have been isolated…we also want to again express our sincerest appreciation to the first responders who selflessly assisted with this event in keeping employees and contractors safe.”
OSHA has confirmed it will investigate the incident and by federal law has six months to complete it.
Lilia Fabry is the owner of MPP Freelance, a writing and web design firm in Houston, TX.