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A suspicious package was “neutralized” by law enforcement agents at the construction site of a pipeline in Texas, Reuters reported, noting that there was no immediate information provided as to the contents of the package.
A drilling crew working on the pipeline discovered the package yesterday and halted work before calling the authorities. A bomb squad neutralized the suspicious object.
The $2.3-billion Permian Highway pipeline, a project of Kinder Morgan, has, like many other pipeline projects, drawn criticism from environmentalists. The pipeline passes through sensitive ecosystems in wetland areas and earlier this year drew the ire of opponents when, while drilling under a river, a crew from the project spilled fracking fluid into drinking water. Kinder Morgan, however, acted fast to contain the spill—of 90 gallons—and said it would switch to a different route to avoid the risk of further spills.
The project has been challenged at court as well, but just last week the court ruled in favor of Kinder Morgan, denying the Sierra Club’s request to stop construction of the Permian Highway pipeline.
“Unfortunately, granting an injunction at this stage of the pipeline’s completion would not unring the bell,” the judge said, noting that the Sierra Club had failed to establish a definitive threat of future harm in the project it had challenged.
The Permian Highway has been a much-needed addition to the Texas pipeline network as it will carry natural gas from the Permian to the Gulf of Mexico. A gas pipeline shortage in the Permian became a big reason that U.S. gas prices slumped on the back of growing oversupply and insufficient demand on the domestic market.
The pipeline is almost finished now and should start operations next January. Its capacity is 2.1 billion cu ft of natural gas daily and, according to Kinder Morgan, it has been fully subscribed.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com