“Energy Highway” in West Virginia Closed, Contractors Evacuated

Hot oil line ruptures at the Blue Racer in Proctor reducing visibility on Route 2 so much that it caused its closure.

January 18, 2023 – Officials say contractors were evacuated, per their normal protocol, at the Blue Racer Midstream in Marshall County, located at 14786 Energy Highway in Proctor. A hot oil line ruptured inside the plant and created steam once it hit the cold air and ground, officials said. Route 2 is closed in both directions due to visibility concerns.

WTRF.com | January 18, 2023
VIDEO: Blue Racer Midstream – February 28, 2018
History:

Blue Racer Midstream became a joint venture between Dominion Resources and Caiman Energy II, LLC in August 2013 with plans to serve the Utica Shale with gathering, fractionation, processing, transportation and marketing of gas liquids. The Natrium II expansion further increased initial capacity in 2014. The Blue Racer Natrium plant is located between Moundsville and New Martinsville, West Virginia along the banks of the Ohio River.

News archive:

Ethane Set to Go Under the Ohio River Near Clarington
September 2, 2017 – CANONSBURG, Pa. — By 2019, Energy Storage Ventures hopes to connect three pipelines beneath the Ohio River to a new natural gas liquids storage facility — two of which will bring ethane, propane and butane from Blue Racer Natrium, while the third will send salt brine from Clarington to the Marshall County chlorine plant now […]

Senators Encouraging Ethane Storage
May 13, 2017 – Just across the Ohio River from the Blue Racer Midstream Natrium natural gas processing plant, contractors continue working to build the caverns required for storing up to 168 million gallons of ethane and other natural gas liquids more than one mile underground. Even as the PTT Global Chemical ethane cracker at Dilles Bottom remains uncertain, […]

Feds Give OK for Exports That Include Ohio Valley Gas
May 8, 2015 – WHEELING — Dominion Resources received final federal approval Thursday to export 770 million cubic feet of liquefied natural gas daily from its $3.8 billion Cove Point site in Maryland, pending a last-minute legal appeal from environmental groups. While citing Energy Information Administration statistics that forecast U.S. natural gas production to reach an average rate of 72.4 billion cubic feet per day this year, the Obama administration’s Department of Energy announced approval of Dominion’s plans Thursday, much to the delight of industry leaders.

Blue Racer: $30B In Infrastructure Needed
January 30, 2015 – PITTSBURGH — Not being able to load ethane onto the ATEX Express because the Blue Racer Natrium plant’s connection remains shut down following the pipeline’s Monday explosion is only one of the challenges company officials see in the Marcellus and Utica shale. “In excess of $30 billion worth of infrastructure still needs to be built,” Scott Williams, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for Blue Racer, said Thursday during the Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference in Pittsburgh.

Blue Racer Pipeline Shut Down After Explosion
October 29, 2014 – An 8-inch Blue Racer Midstream natural gas condensate pipeline exploded early Tuesday in Monroe County. According to Phillip Keevert, county Emergency Management Agency director, Beallsville volunteer firefighters at mid-morning were still extinguishing hot spots from a pipeline fire that occurred at about 2 a.m. on Mellott Ridge in Monroe County. “There were no injuries and no evacuation. It was an 8-inch line that exploded. The fire is out and the line is shut down,” Keevert said.

Blue Racer Can Double Production
May 27, 2014 – KENT — More fractionation and de-ethanization is online in Marshall County’s Marcellus and Utica shale field, as Blue Racer Midstream can process 400 million cubic feet of natural gas per day at the Natrium facility along W.Va. 2. The Blue Racer system features pipelines that carry natural gas under the Ohio River from the Buckeye State for processing at Natrium. “Our assets are positioned exactly where our producers need them so that ultimately they achieve the best possible price realizations,” Jack Lafield, CEO of Blue Racer, said.

Natural Gas Processors Find Tax Loophole
February 23, 2014 – MOUNDSVILLE — Williams Energy, Blue Racer Midstream and MarkWest Energy spent nearly $900 million in Marshall County during the last tax year on their natural gas processing plants, but those same plants are taxed at only a fraction of that amount, county officials said.

More Plans At Blue Racer
January 29, 2014 – NATRIUM — High demand for Utica and Marcellus shale ethane, propane, butane and other natural gas liquids is driving Blue Racer Midstream to double the size of its Marshall County processing plant along the Ohio River. The facility, which recently reopened after it closed in the aftermath of a Sept. 21 fire, will grow its processing capacity from 200 million cubic feet per day to 400 million cubic feet per day.

Blue Racer Plant Operating Again
January 28, 2014 – NATRIUM — After being closed for nearly five months following a Sept. 21 accident and fire, the Blue Racer Midstream natural gas processing plant is up and running again. The company made the official announcement of the reopening Monday, stating the plant “recently returned to service,” though a specific date was not given. Local authorities learned of the blast and fire just before 1:30 a.m. Sept. 21 when a Marshall County sheriff’s deputy patrolling in the area spotted it. W.Va. 2 near the Wetzel county line was closed for nearly eight hours as the fire burned.

Neighbors React to Blue Racer Siren
January 16, 2014 – KENT — Residents William and Sandra Cody are glad the Blue Racer Natrium plant has a new siren system in case of an emergency, but they still have safety concerns about living so close to the natural gas processing plant that has been closed since a Sept. 21 fire. As part of a Community Awareness Emergency Response program that both the Blue Racer Midstream and Axiall Corp. Natrium plants have put into place, a warning siren was tested Wednesday, according to Robert Orndorff Jr, Dominion Resource Services Inc. managing director of state and local affairs.

Blue Racer To Test Alarm
January 15, 2014 – NATRIUM — Tom Hart said residents in the Kent area of Marshall County should not be alarmed to hear a loud siren at 11:30 a.m. today, as Blue Racer Midstream is testing a new emergency alert system in preparation of restarting the facility. Marcellus and Utica Shale producers have been unable to use the giant processing plant along W.Va. 2 since a Sept. 21 accident caused a fire that burned for nearly eight hours, leading officials to evacuate 25 Kent area residents. In addition to closing W.Va. 2, CSX rail transportation was shut down as fire crews worked to extinguish the blaze.

Plant Remains Closed
January 13, 2014 – Marcellus and Utica shale producers such as Chesapeake Energy and Consol Energy still cannot get their natural gas processed at the Blue Racer Midstream plant because the facility remains shut down in the aftermath of the Sept. 21 fire. “We have not restarted the Natrium plant,” said Blue Racer spokeswoman Casey Nikoloric. “We are making the repairs needed to restore servic.

Plant Neighbors Deserve Warning
November 5, 2013 – Residents of the small Kent community along W.Va. 2 in southern Marshall County who were not asleep late on the night of Sept. 21 learned of an emergency at the nearby Blue Racer Midstream Plant only when they looked outside and saw the glow of flames or were alerted by neighbors. No public warning system was in place at the gas processing facility. More than six weeks later, there still is no procedure for letting nearby residents know about problems at the plant. That has some of them upset.

Kent Residents ‘Restless’ for Emergency Warning System
November 4, 2013 – KENT — More than a month after an early morning fire at the Blue Racer Midstream Plant in Marshall County, residents in the nearby Kent community are still waiting for the company to establish an action plan to notify residents during an emergency. Resident Delbert Wade said about a dozen people from the community met with representatives from Dominion Resources, which operates the plant with Caiman Energy, about three weeks ago to voice their concerns on how the Sept. 21 fire was handle.

Gas Cut off as Probe Goes On
October 2, 2013 – State regulators continue working with Blue Racer Midstream officials to determine why part of the $500 million Natrium natural gas processing plant blew up and burned on Sept. 21. “The supply of gas to the plant has been shut off, so it remains out of service,” said Frank Mack, a spokesman for Dominion Resources. Blue Racer is a $1.5 billion partnership between Dominion and Caiman Energy, while Dominion workers operate the Natrium plant. “We continue working with local safety officials and state regulators to determine cause of the problem,” Mack added.

Kent Residents: ‘We Evacuated Ourselves’
September 29, 2013 – KENT, W.Va. – Delbert Wade heard a pounding at his door. It was just before 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. Lorri Davisson heard the same pounding just minutes later. A neighbor stood outside. Nearby, at the Blue Racer Midstream Plant operated by Dominion Resources and Caiman Energy, which process natural gas and natural gas liquids, a fire raged. Davisson called the experience “a terrifying experience. It looked like the whole valley was exploding. The whole sky was orange and it sounded like landing airplanes.

Plant Catches Fire
September 22, 2013 – NATRIUM – Investigators are continuing their investigation into an early morning fire Saturday at the Blue Racer Midstream Plant in Marshall County. No injuries were reported, however some residents of the Kent area north of the plant were told to leave their homes as a precautionary measure. According to Marshall County Emergency Management Director Tom Hart, a cause for the fire has not yet been determined. W.Va. 2 near the Marshall and Wetzel county line was closed for nearly eight hours.