Small methane leak fixed at Nikiski natural gas plant

Posted: Friday, November 23, 2007

ConocoPhillips sent some of its employees and contractors at the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) plant in Nikiski home Tuesday after a small methane leak was discovered during a pre-start check at 11 a.m.

In an e-mail sent Wednesday, Natalie Knox Lowman, spokeswoman for ConocoPhillips, said the leak occurred at a one-inch valve seal while employees were doing a routine check of the facility.

Even though the leak was small, due to the flammable nature of the methane, which Lowman said is the same natural gas people use to heat their homes and power their cars, ConocoPhillips followed standard safety procedures by sending its "nonessential" employees and contractors home.

"There was no danger to the public, personnel or the environment," she said, adding that the facility depressurized the area surrounding the valve for repair. "Maintenance was complete by the end of (Tuesday) and the night shift restored production to normal rates."

Jessica Cejnar can be reached at jessica.cejnar@peninsulaclarion.com.



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