Gas in Chevron pipeline hit by barge burning out: Coast Guard

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 15, 2013 12:23 PM

(Reuters) - Response operations continued on Friday in a Louisiana bayou where a fire ignited earlier this week after a tug and oil barge hit a Chevron Corp liquid petroleum gas pipeline about 30 miles south of New Orleans, the Coast Guard said.

The tug pushing the barge that carried 2,215 barrels of crude oil struck the Chevron pipeline in shallow water early evening on Tuesday.

Chevron shut down the line right after the accident, but the remaining LPG has been burning off.

"As the amount of liquid petroleum gas remaining in the pipeline dwindles, it is predicted that the size, color and smoke amount may fluctuate," the Coast Guard said.

"This controlled burn will clear the line of the residual liquid petroleum gas," the Coast Guard said

The tank barge was separated from the tug wreckage late Thursday afternoon.

Responders were monitoring to maintain integrity of the barge to allow for safe salvage once the fire is extinguished, according to the Coast Guard.

The accident happened in a bayou west of the Mississippi River. Chevron had said the line connects a gas plant in Venice, Louisiana, with a pump station in Paradis.

(Editing by Alden Bentley)