Williams explosion and fire, Opal, WY 2014-04-23

Fourth major incident this year for Williams, this time in Wyoming. Yet again locals and their local and state governments were left to pick up the tab, and the cause is still “under investigation”.

Ryan Parker wrote for the Denver Post 23 April 2014, Wyoming town evacuated after gas plant explosion,

There was an explosion followed by a fire Wednesday afternoon at the Williams Gas Plant near Opal, Wyo..

The entire town of Opal was evacuated after 4 p.m., according to Michele Swaner, spokeswoman for the natural gas company Williams. The town of fewer than 100 residents is in southwestern Wyoming, north of Rock Springs and east of Kemmerer.

There were no injures, Swaner said.

Well, then, unless there was “loss of more than $50,000 in product”, it’s not even a reportable incident, just an “abnormal operating condition”, according to what PHMSA said about Suavie Island, Oregon.

Williams Co. has an update about of 6 May 2014 about the important part, Williams Partners’ Opal, Wyo. Additional Plants Returned to Service, Capacity Meets Customer Needs,

Williams Partners’ (NYSE:WPZ) Opal Gas-Processing Plant has returned to service processing capacity of approximately 1.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, following a full shutdown April 23 due to a fire. Four cryogenic processing trains are now operating and a fifth unit, where the fire occurred, remains out of service.

What about the people who were affected?

As of 12:30 p.m. Mountain Time — April 24, 2014

Williams Partners provided the following update to the incident that occurred Wednesday at its natural gas processing facility in Lincoln County, Wyoming near the town of Opal.

The precautionary evacuation of Opal was lifted at about 11:20 a.m. local time and all residents were free to return home. Authorities opened Highway 30 at about 9:30 a.m. local time, which had been closed as a precaution.

Not one word about compensation for the time and money costs of that evacuation and that road closing.

What caused it? As usual, nobody seems to know:

The company, in coordination with regulatory agencies, continues to investigate the cause of the incident. Damage was limited to a small area of TXP-3.

Since a highway was closed, maybe the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, and then maybe we’ll find out what happened.


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