TEPPCO pipeline repair target update: end of January for Northeast region

January 12, 2011 By    

Enterprise Products Partners says its troubled Enterprise TE Products Pipeline should be back to full service by the end of January – a full five months after a leak in the 165-mile pipeline that feeds the New England region forced a shutdown.

Upstate New York terminals in Oneonta, Harford Mills and Selkirk had been closed since a leak in the 8-inch pipeline was discovered east of Watkins Glen, N.Y., on Aug. 27. The shutdown during prime winter heating season has caused supply problems and price hikes throughout the region.

Enterprise was given regulatory approval by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to restart the section of line between Watkins Glen and Harford Mills, N.Y., in early January.

Full product flow to the Harford Mills terminal, which is operated by a separate business unit of the Enterprise Products Partners parent company, began on Jan. 5.

In addition to the pipeline repair, the company also reinforced sections of an eroding riverbank where the line had become exposed, according to Rick Rainey, company spokesperson.

Hydrostatic testing of the pipeline east of Marathon, N.Y., to the Oneonta terminal was expected the week of Jan. 10, according to Rainey. No date was set for completion of the final leg to the Selkirk, N.Y., terminal, but Rainey said full service should be available by the end of the month.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), average residential propane prices in New England rose to $3.28 per gallon as of Dec. 31, from $2.98 a year earlier, while Central Atlantic prices rose to $3.37 per gallon, from $3.11 in the year-ago period.

EIA said prices in the region have risen more than 45 cents per gallon since the start of this heating season, compared with a 29-cent increase in the Midwest, a much larger propane heating fuel market. Prices in New York state have jumped 56 cents over the heating season.

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