March 7, 2012 / 10:19 PM / in 6 years

RPT-ONEOK gas liquids processing facility to restart but not fully

By Jeanine Prezioso

NEW YORK, March 7 (Reuters) - A leaking propane storage tank at a natural gas liquids processing plant in Medford, Oklahoma, that forced shut the facility will be back up and running on Wednesday evening but not at full capacity, said a spokeswoman.

ONEOK Hydrocarbon’s fractionator lost power on Feb. 28 due to a leak from a propane storage facility. A backup power source was interrupted because of stormy weather, Megan Washbourne, the spokeswoman for ONEOK said.

The propane leak from the storage well spewed propane vapors and saltwater brine into the air and forced residents to evacuate the town of Medford, according to local press reports.

The leak was capped on Monday, but the company could not start work to restart the facility until power was restored.

The facility is expected back online on Wednesday night but will only process 2,000 to 4,000 barrels per day (bpd) initially. The facility’s full capacity is 210,000 bpd.

The company, part of ONEOK Partners, is still investigating what caused the leak and the spokeswoman could not say when the facility would be fully back up and running.

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