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Williams Opal Plant Back to Pre-Fire Volumes

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Williams Partners’ Opal Gas-Processing Plant is back to processing the daily volumes it met before a fire caused a full shutdown on April 23.

The fire occurred at TXP-3, one of five cryogenic processing trains at the 160-acre facility in Opal, Wyoming. The other four units are now back in service, the company announced on May 6. At the time of the incident, the plant was processing daily inlet volumes of approximately 1 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas.

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Despite using only four of the five processing units at the facility, the plant is once again processing a daily capacity of approximately 1.1 Bcf.

The total capacity of the four operating trains is sufficient to meet customer needs, according to a company statement. Williams announced on May 1 that two of its  cryogenic processing trains, TXP-1 and TXP-2, were back in service with the combined capability to process 395 million cubic feet (MMcf) of gas per day. Now, TXP-4 and TXP-5 are back up and running with a combined processing capacity of 700 MMcf per day. TXP-4 was idle at the time of the fire, serving as excess capacity for the facility.

The TXP-3 processing unit, where the fire occurred, remains out of service. The company, in coordination with regulatory agencies, continues to investigate the cause of the incident.

The initial visual assessment of damage indicates that the impact was largely limited to a small area of the TXP-3 unit. Information from the company’s visual inspection of the damage area indicates that there was a release of natural gas that was subsequently ignited.

The entire facility was put in immediate full shutdown when the fire occurred at approximately 2 p.m. local time on April 23. There were no reported injuries or damage to property outside the facility. The plant’s emergency procedures performed as designed, the company reported.

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