A natural gas pipeline explosion and fire reported Monday night south of Tioga caused no injuries, the pipeline company said.

A statement from Hiland Partners LP said the fire on the property operated by Hiland was extinguished “and there was no third-party property damage.”

Hiland officials were on the scene, about six miles south of Tioga, the statement said.

Randall Pederson, a member of the Tioga Fire and Ambulance Department, said the department was notified of the explosion and fire at 9 p.m. Monday.

Hiland was “blowing” hydrates, ice-like solids formed from a mixture of water and gas that can block pipeline flow, out of the pipeline, said Kris Roberts of the North Dakota Department of Health Environmental Health Section.

The cause of the fire is unknown and remains under investigation.

Roberts said the pipeline was above ground at the point of ignition. It started in the “slug catcher,” a large diameter pipe with a hatch that allows workers to remove equipment used in a pipeline cleaning and inspecting process called pigging.

Pederson said as crews were responding they could see a large glow south of town so they knew it was a big blaze. Four fire trucks and an ambulance responded.

The fire was reported by Hiland at 8:33 p.m. and extinguished at about 9:50 p.m., Roberts said. It was on Hiland’s property and property and equipment damage was minimal, he said.

Pederson said the fire department set up a perimeter about a half mile north of the blaze to keep people from driving through the area.

Hiland shut valves off to keep any more gas from reaching the blaze and put it out, Pederson said. He said the fire department never got close to the blaze and had no direct involvement in extinguishing it.

Roberts said a Health Department environmental response team went to the site Tuesday to assist with the clean up. An investigation is being done by Hiland, he said.

According to its website, Hiland Partners is a midstream energy company gathering, processing and marketing natural gas, natural gas liquids and crude oil.

  

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Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or jessica.holdman@bismarcktribune.com.

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Business Reporter