Enterprise Products Partners said Friday (8/19) it could take up to two months to restore service to a 7,000-foot section of its Mid-America natural gas liquids pipeline, which moves under the Missouri River on the contiguous borders of Nebraska and Iowa. The pipeline was shut Aug. 13 by a leak.
The pipeline, located between Decatur, Neb. and Onawa, Iowa, was carrying natural gasoline at the time of the incident. The line was shut down after the operator detected a drop in pressure, Enterprise spokesman Rick Rainey said.
The normal method of repair is trenching, but with the flooding, that is not possible, Rainey said.
"Rushing water through the area had eroded soil beneath the pipe and caused it to lose support," Rainey told Telvent DTN Friday afternoon. "At this point we've decided to conduct a directional drill because that area is going to be underwater for a long period."
The 7,000 feet of pipeline will need approvals and permits from the U.S. Army Corps of engineers and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Repairs will take about three weeks, Rainey said, but the permits and approvals could stretch the work out to October.
According to the Enterprise website, the Mid-America system covers 13 states and is a regulated NGL pipeline system consisting of three NGL pipelines: the 3,021-mile Rocky Mountain pipeline, the 2,769-mile Conway North pipeline and the 2,278-mile Conway South pipeline. The Mid-America System interconnects with the partnerships Seminole Pipeline and Hobbs NGL fractionators and storage facility at Hobbs hub.
Enterprise is based in Houston, Texas.