Houston Chronicle
Natural gas facility in Mont Belvieu explodes, no injuries reported

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A natural gas liquids processing and storage faciltiy in Mont Belvieu, Texas, owned by Enterprise Products Partners burst into flames Tuesday afternoon following a series of explosions.

Houston-based Enterprise is one of the country’s largest shippers and processors of natural gas, including 49,100 miles of onshore and offshore pipelines.

The facility in Chambers County — about 35 miles northeast of Houston — includes massive underground natural gas storage caverns as well as a natural gas fractionation plant, where natural gas liquids are separated into different components before being put into storage or injected into pipelines. It has a capacity of about 305,000 barrels of natural gas liquids per day.

Because the Mont Belvieu facility handles such huge volumes, even small accidents can affect prices of those fuels, said Adam Bedard, senior director of energy analysis at Bentek Energy in Evergreen, Colo.

“If the supply of natural gas liquids is affected, either because of the fire at the storage units or the fractionator goes down, you could see upward pressure on natural gas liquids prices,” he said.

Access a complete copy of this article by clicking here.