August 9, 2022

Huge increase Rocks Oklahoma Natural Gas Place

Comes amid spate of strange energy plant explosions occurring in southern US because region predicted to endure massive heat wave.

A natural gas gathering and processing facility close to Medford, Oklahoma, exploded Saturday afternoon and could disrupt the flow of hydrocarbons to energy export hubs to the Texas Gulf Coast.  

Oneok, Inc., a leading midstream service agency and the operator of a main natural gas liquids (NGL) systems, experienced an explosion on its NGL fractionation facility in Medford, about 85 miles south of Wichita, Kansas.  

“ There is an active event at the plant south of town, and we are requesting all residents south associated with Main Street to evacuate your homes and visit the Medford public school creating, ” the Grant Region Sheriff’s Office noted upon Facebook yesterday.  

ONEOK released a statement later in the day that said, “ there was an incident in ONEOK’s Medford natural gas liquids fractionation facility … Most ONEOK personnel are accounted for, and we are unaware of any injuries at this time. We are cooperating with local emergency responders plus appreciate their quick response. Our focus continues dealing with emergency responders to extinguish the fire and the basic safety of the surrounding community plus our employees. ”  

ONEOK’s fractionation plant separates NGLs in to NGL products, such as ethane, propane, butane, and natural gas, used widely in all sectors of the economy. NGL items are used in inputs to get petrochemical plants, generating electricity at power plants, burning up for cooking, and combined into vehicle fuel.  

The Medford fractionation facility feeds NGL products in pipelines via Texas to Mont Belvieu on the Gulf Coast, a significant export hub area for energy products. There’s no phrase (yet) on disruptions to pipeline flows.  

One Twitter user points out there has been a spate associated with fires and explosions in oil/gas facilities or pipelines in the last month (similar to the  mysterious fire at food processing plants) , and the most significant interruption so far has been  Freeport’s LNG export fatal catching   shooting last month, curbing several LNG exports to European countries.  

Information are scant about what interruptions the ONEOK fractionation service has caused. Still, in case there were any, it comes at an inopportune time for the Texas power grid (powered half by NatGas) set to encounter record demand as soaring heat boosts cooling requirement by households and businesses.

What could possibly fail?    

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