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Pennsylvania halts Mariner East 1 NGL pipe flows, Mariner East 2 work continues

Houston — Mariner East 2 pipeline construction was ongoing in PennsylvaniaThursday, a day after a state regulator ordered the shutdown of EnergyTransfer Partners' Mariner East 1 pipeline following the discovery of threesinkholes near the NGL line.

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The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission issued an emergency orderWednesday, requiring additional testing and analysis of the integrity of thepipeline.

Mariner East 1 is an eight-inch-diameter, 70,000 b/d NGL pipeline movingethane, propane and butane to ETP's Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, exportterminal. The company is building a second parallel line, increasing thesystem's NGL capacity by 275,000 b/d.

ETP plans to run an inline inspection tool in the area of concern,suspend operations of the pipeline to allow for a 10-14-day study period andshare its findings with the PUC, spokesman Jeff Shields said in an email.

"This period should allow us to share what our professional geologist hasestablished to date -- that the Mariner East 1 pipeline is stable, is locatedin suitably safe geology, and will continue to operate safely as it has donefor decades," Shields said in the statement. "The safe operation of ourpipelines is of critical importance to us, and we believe the study periodwill reaffirm the safety of the pipeline."

PUC noted in its order that the sinkholes are near Mariner East 2construction, but it did not suspend that construction.

"Wednesday's order regarding Mariner East 1 does not affect constructionof Mariner East 2, which continues throughout the state," Shields said.

--Andrea Salazar, andrea.salazar@spglobal.com

--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, keiron.greenhalgh@spglobal.com