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UPDATED: Explosion, fire at Ryckman Creek gas facility April 20

Modified: Monday, Apr 22nd, 2013

Courtesy photo

EVANSTON — A fire that erupted at a natural gas storage facility north of Evanston in the Ryckman Creek area of the Whitney Canyon April 20 has been extinguished, according to Eric Quinney, with the Uinta County Fire District.

“Employees [of the facility] responded because they had a high temperature alarm on one of their pressure valves,” Quinney told the Herald. “When they got there, the valve exploded, and that ignited the fire.”

Quinney said the four-man crew evacuated the site immediately, and there were no injuries reported in the incident.

Due to the extremely dangerous conditions at the site, and the fact that its remote location posed no danger to residents, fire crews staged in an area about a mile from the facility but allowed the fire to burn through Saturday night and through Sunday afternoon, when at about 4 p.m. crews approached the site to assess its condition.

“We didn’t have anyone stay up there last night,” Quinney said. “We pulled everyone off, since it was pretty much out. They opened the road back up out there.”

Gas injections began at the Ryckman Creek gas storage facility in May 2012. Owner Peregrine Midstream Partners began construction on the 35 billion cubic foot facility in September 2011. The capacity of the first phase of the development, for use in 2012-2013, is 18 billion cubic feet.

The Ryckman Creek facility includes six injection/withdrawal wells; two re-entry observation wells and two re-entry/recompletion saltwater disposal wells; a central gas/liquids separation and processing facility; 4.8 miles of new eight-inch diameter storage field flow lines; nearly four miles of 16-inch diameter header pipeline; one unidirectional and four bi-directional pipeline interconnects and meter stations; and about 30,000 horsepower of electric-drive compression.

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